Nuclear Physics & RIKEN Theory Seminar
"Dense matter in neutron stars and core-collapse supernovae"
Presented by Irina Sagert, National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory
Friday, May 17, 2013, 2 pm
Small Seminar Room, Bldg. 510
Hosted by: Vladimir Skokov
Born in core-collapse supernovae, neutron stars contain matter at densities far beyond the ground state density of atomic nuclei. Measurements of neutron star properties, such as their masses and radii offer intriguing possibilities to probe the properties of dense nuclear matter like its compressibility and the nuclear symmetry energy. The composition of matter under neutron star conditions is currently unknown, but theoretical predictions range from pure nucleonic matter to the presence of hyperons or deconfined quarks. Since the appearance of hyperons or quark matter is often associated with a softening of the nuclear equations of state (and thereby low neutron star masses), the recent finding of a pulsars with masses of around two solar masses reignited the debate of whether hyperons or quarks can exist in neutron star interiors. However, various studies suggest that both quarks and hyperons can have stiff equations of state and therefore populate the interior of high mass stars. As a consequence, the question about the composition of high density neutron star matter remains undetermined. It is a continuing challenge for astrophysical and nuclear theory, experiment, and observations to determine clear constraints and signatures that would be able to confirm or exclude different neutron star compositions. With this in mind, I will discuss possible impacts of quark matter in neutron star interiors and core-collapse supernovae.