[FoRK] Star Wars and quantum crystals

Corinna corinna.schultz
Thu Dec 22 11:06:01 PST 2005

My son (8yo) checked out a Star Wars Book from the library (The Crystal 
Star, I think it was). Last night he asks me what quantum means. I think "oh 
boy, that's a big topic" so I ask "why?"  He flips to the page in the book 
where it's discussing the fact that a dwarf star has become a quantum 
crystal. I explain that quantum has something to do with the structure of 
the electrons in the atoms that make up the star. So a quantum crystal 
probably means that the star is in a very ordered state, and that it would 
be very unusual for a star to do so. I told him I didn't actually know what 
a quantum crystal really was, or even if it was a real thing.

So I just looked it up. Apparently a quantum crystal is what you get if you 
cool hydrogen down to a solid. So I'm wondering, is it even believeable that 
a star would cool down so much as to become solid hydrogen?  Should I write 
it off as technobabble? I'd like to give my son a better explanation, but 
only if it actually makes sense in the context of the story.

Anybody? Bueller?


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