Abstract

In 1984 Edward Witten proposed that an extremely dense form of matter composed of up, down, and strange quarks may be stable at zero pressure (Witten, 1984). Massive nuggets of such dense matter, if they exist, may pass through the Earth and be detectable by the seismic signals they generate (de Rujula and Glashow, 1984). With this motivation we investigated over 1 million seismic data reports to the U.S. Geological Survey for the years 1990-1993 not associated with epicentral sources. We report two results: (1) with an average of about 0.16 unassociated reports per minute after data cuts, we found a significant excess over statistical expectation for sets with 10 or more reports in 10 min; and (2) in spite of a very small a priori probability from random reports, we found one set of reports with arrival times and other features appropriate to signals from an epilinear source. This event has the properties predicted for the passage of a nugget of strange quark matter through the Earth, although there is no direct confirmation from other phenomenologies.

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