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It is not clear that strangelets exist naturally, can be produced, or are stable enough to be detected. Searches have so far not found evidence of them. But while it is not clear that they must exist, they cannot be ruled out. The allowed range of parameters for stability is fairly wide, and the values are not unreasonable. The arguments that motivated the first discussions of strange matter remain valid reasons to expect it. The existence of strangelets would provide possible explanations for some observed phenomena (e.g. dark matter). Fascinating new phenomena would also be available for study. Further theoretical exploration of the possibilities of strangelets is fundamentally limited by the inability to use QCD for detailed calculations of the many-quark system, and by a lack of specific knowledge of the critical parameters. For these reasons, the experimental search must continue.

Joshua Holden
Sun May 17 15:37:00 EDT 1998