Powering Starships with Compact Condensed Quark Matter from local very fast rotating asteroids where they might enable the production of 1 million tons of antimatter

Compact Composite Objects (CCOs), nuggets of dense Color-Flavor-Locked Superconducting quark matter created before or during the Quantum Chromo- Dynamics phase transition in the early universe, could provide a natural explanation for both Dark Matter (DM) and the observed cosmological baryon asymmetry, without requiring modifications to fundamental physics. This hypothesis implies a relic CCO population in the Solar System, captured during its formation, which would lead to a population of “strange asteroids,” bodies with mm-radii quark matter cores and ordinary matter (rock or ice) mantles. This hypothesis is supported by the observed population of small Very Fast Rotating (VFR) asteroids (bodies with rotation periods as short as 25 sec); the VFR data are consistent with a population of strange asteroids with core masses of order 10^10 – 10^11 kg. If the VFR asteroids are indeed strange asteroids their CCO cores could be mined using the techniques being developed for asteroid mining. Besides being intrinsically of great scientific interest, CCO cores could also serve as very powerful sources of energy, releasing a substantial fraction of the mass energy of incident particles as their quarks are absorbed into the QCD superfluid. Through a process analogous to Andreev reflection in superconductors, even normal matter CCOs could be used as antimatter factories, potentially providing as much as 10^9 kg of antimatter per CCO. While of course speculative, this energy source, if realized, would be suitable for propelling starships to a substantial fraction of the speed of light, and could be found, extracted and exploited in our Solar System with existing and near-term developments in technology.

(H/T Adam Crowl at Crowlspace)

There are some very fast rotating asteroids listed at wikipedia

Name Rotation period (seconds) Diameter(meters)
2010 JL88       24.5                            15
2010 WA         31                               3
2008 HJ         42.7                            24

Compact quark objects would represent a bound state of matter left over from epochs near the QCD phase transition, when the the density was over 4 × 10^17 kg m−3 (the nuclear density). The idea that condensed quark matter could form in the early universe and persist until the present has a considerable history, first proposed as strangelets and nuclearites almost 3 decades ago. CCO dark matter is thus a new variant of an old idea. Recent work indicates that at low temperatures and high densities the lowest QCD energy state is Color-Flavor-Locked (CFL) superconducting quark matter. CCOs made of CFL quark matter are thought to be stable at zero temperature, and could in fact be the fundamental state of matter, both more stable than 56Fe and (if CCOs dominate the dark matter) more prevalent than ordinary hadronic matter.

In the theory derived by Zhitnitsky and his colleagues CCOs are created by the collapse of axion domain walls in the first few microseconds after the Big Bang. The axion domain wall theory bounds the primordial CCO mass, MQ, to a range of a little over an order of magnitude in mass, with the mid-point of the range being set by the value of the axion decay constant, fa, and the range reflecting the need for a CCO to be both energetically favorable and have greater than nuclear density.

The CCO theory could resolve the missing antimatter problem. If there were three antimatter CCOs to 2 matter CCOs. Because they are superconducting, ordinary matter less than 100 million electron volts would be reflected.

Antimatter Rocket designs with 30-70% of light speed

There are various designs for antimatter powered and photon rockets which could get to 30-70% of lightspeed.

Nextbigfuture covered the work of Winterberg’s gamma ray laser rocket.

The three basic technical problems are: the rocket engine itself, the production of the large needed quantities of antimatter, and lastly, how to store the antimatter.

The production of antimatter is not a problem if the compact condensed quark matter theory is correct.

Storing antimatter is not a problem if there exists a state of matter a million times more dense than liquid hydrogen. There is experimental evidence that such a state might exist for deuterium, with a possible explanation of such a state that it is made up by a lattice of deuterium linear vortex atom molecules. Such a state, of course, would by itself be of great interest for nuclear rocket propulsion by deuterium thermonuclear micro-explosions which at these densities could be easily ignited with lasers of modest energy. But because a million-fold increase in the density, would also imply, a 10^4 times increase for the maximum field of a superconductor, and a 100 times increase in the critical magnetic field and melting point. Such a substance, if it exists, could be used for normal temperature superconductors with a critical field of 10^9 Gauss, ideally suited for the storage of antihydrogen.

The antimatter-gamma ray laser rocket.

Friedwardt Winterberg’s preprint suggests a different concept, with the promise of near total annihilation and near perfect collimation of a pure gamma-ray exhaust.

Winterberg describes generating a very high electron-positron current in the ambiplasma, while leaving the protons-antiprotons with a low energy. This high current generates a magnetic field that constricts rapidly, a so-called pinch discharge, but because it is a matter-antimatter mix it can collapse to a much denser state. Near nuclear densities can be achieved, assuming near-term technical advancements to currents of 170 kA and electron-positron energies of 1 GeV. This causes intensely rapid annihilation that crowds the annihilating particles into one particular reaction pathway, directly into gamma-rays, pushing them to form a gamma-ray laser. By constricting the annihilating particles into this state a very coherent and directional beam of gamma-rays is produced, the back-reaction of which pushes against the annihilation chamber’s magnetic fields, providing thrust.

Photon rocket feasibility appears to be possible by the radiative collapse of a relativistic high current pinch discharge in a hydrogen-antihydrogen ambiplasma down to a radius determined by Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. Through this collapse to ultrahigh densities the proton-antiproton pairs in the center of the pinch can become the upper GeV laser level for the transition into a coherent gamma ray beam by proton-antiproton annihilation, with the magnetic field of the collapsed pinch discharge absorbing the recoil momentum of the beam and transmitting it to the spacecraft. The gamma ray laser beam is launched as a photon avalanche from one end of the pinch discharge channel.

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