So let’s start with how many neutrons will be in a teaspoon of neutron star – then we just have to work out, by volume, how many teaspoons might fit into the space of an average neutron star then multiple the two numbers. Easy!
1 teaspoon of neutron star contains approximately 3.3×10^39 neutrons, according to
3.3×10^39 Is just an easier way of writing 3,300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (39 zeroes after the 3.3 part).
So how many teaspoons would fit in a neutron star? Let’s imagine a typical radius (the distance from the outside to the middle) of a neutron star is 10 kilometres.
We know that the volume (the amount of space something takes up) of a sphere is calculated by this formula Volume = ⁴⁄₃πr³ where π is a standard constant number (about e.g. 3.14159), r is the radius (10k) and r³ = r x r x r = 10 x 10 x 10 = 1000.
This makes the volume of a neutron star = 4188786666666.562 (or 4.1887866 × 10^12) cubic metres.
Right. Next - how many teaspoons in a cubic metre? According to Google unit converter at
there are 168936 teaspoons in a cubic metre, SO the number of neutrons in a cubic metre is:
168936 * 3.3×10^39 = 557,488,800,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
We then need to multiple this by the number of cubic metres in the neutron star, so the total number of neutrons in the whole star is:
4188786666666.562 x 557,488,800,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000
This is a whopper. It’s more than there are grains of sand on all the beaches of the word. In fact it’s more than there are molecules on the entire earth.
Amazing that this can all fit within such a small star. If you dropped a neutron star onto Reading it would only reach between Lower Basildon on the one side and Wokingham on the other (just to be clear, this would cause some major problems).
- Ivan Teage