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What Is Inside a Neutron Star?

TEDxTUM video talk by Professor Laura Fabbietti

2018-02-27 – News from the Physics Department

Professor Laura Fabbietti from TUM’s Physics Department likes strange things. In a TEDxTUM talk, that is now available on video, she explains what is strange about the hyperon puzzle, what it has to do with the state of distant neutron stars and how she wants to solve this astronomical puzzle by looking at collisions of particles underground on earth.

Professor Laura Fabbietti at TEDxTUM – Photo: Arnaud de Groote / CC BY-ND 2.0

About the talk

When stars collapse in a supernova, what is left is either a black hole or a neutron star. We don’t know what’s inside a neutron star, and so far, we have no way of looking inside one. Physics shows that curious things like strange quarks, which make up hyperons and are energetically unfavorable, and neutron stars that should theoretically be too heavy to exist, actually do exist. The more we search for answers, the more questions arise. Laura’s job and pursuit is to tackle these numerous strange puzzles and to find out what’s inside neutron stars. Luckily she is passionate about exploring strange things!

About Laura Fabbietti

Though an avid literature enthusiast in high school, Laura Fabbietti decided it was too static to study at university, so instead to dedicate her life to what she thought was the most difficult subject ever: physics. She loved three-dimensional thinking and the idea of building detectors to measure particles and learn about what we think is the story of our universe.

Today, Laura’s work is centered around hadron physics, a branch of nuclear physics that tries to understand how particles interact. Born close to the mountains in Bergamo, Italy, she studied in Milan and came to Munich 19 years ago, first to obtain her PhD and later succeeding her advisor to become the professor for Dense and Strange Hadronic Matter at TUM. Her group focuses on studying the behavior of quarks and hadrons, important for the study and characterization of neutron stars.

When she’s not working, Laura watches TV shows and knits, and has been a running junkie for 30 years. She also really enjoys going to church. Laura likes to cook for and entertain her friends to thank them for being patient with her, and loves Munich for its ability to simultaneously feel like a little village as well as a sinful city.

Watch the movie

What Is Inside a Neutron Star? | Laura Fabbietti | TEDxTUM (youtube)


Prof. Dr. Laura Fabbietti
Technical University of Munich
CRC1258 Neutrinos and Dark Matter in Astro- and Particle Physics
Physics Department
85748 Garching, Germany
T: +49 89 289 12433
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