The model predicts that the charge of a strangelet will be proportional to . This is in contrast to nuclear matter, where . The coulomb energy goes as at constant density. What is important for stability is that the total energy per baryon be less than the mass of a free nucleon. For nuclear matter, the coulomb energy per baryon goes as
As this increases with A, there is a point where a nuclear matter becomes unstable, at around A = 250. In strange matter the energy per baryon is
and strange matter becomes increasingly stable with A. This behavior is one of the primary concepts in understanding the phenomenology of strangelets.
Since , the coulomb energy will drive for large A. For , this is consistent with a minimization of the `symmetry energy,' since equal numbers of each flavor result no net charge. For , the model predicts an increase in charge. A massive strange quark shifts the symmetry energy minimum toward non-zero Z/A, so that with increasing A the coulomb energy going to zero will force an increase in the symmetry energy. In the absence of surface effects, this would lead to a destabilization of the strangelet. However, the charge to baryon ratio Z/A is so small that surface effects can easily compensate for the coulomb energy. This prediction of for large A is also inconsistent with the bulk limit. This is because electrons are not present in strangelets; if they are included, consistency is restored.
Electrons would be expected to surround a strangelet in `atomic' orbitals. For a strangelet of charge 100, the Bohr radius of the inner shell will be much larger than the size of the strangelet. It would resemble a superheavy atom, with . A strangelet of would have a charge of about 1000; the simple minded Bohr radius of its innermost electron would be about 53 fm, compared to a strangelet radius of about 200 fm. Although this is much to simple a picture to determine the percentage of electrons near the core of the strangelet, it is clear that the transition to bulk strange matter is near.