Artículos de revistas
Fragmentation of neutron star matter
Alcain, Pablo Nicolás; Dorso, Claudio Oscar; Fragmentation of neutron star matter; American Physical Society; Physical Review C; 97; 1; 5-2017; 1-6
Alcain, Pablo Nicolás
Dorso, Claudio Oscar
Background: Neutron stars are astronomical systems with nucleons subjected to extreme conditions. Due to the longer range Coulomb repulsion between protons, the system has structural inhomogeneities. Several interactions tailored to reproduce nuclear matter plus a screened Coulomb term reproduce these inhomogeneities known as nuclear pasta. These structural inhomogeneities, located in the crusts of neutron stars, can also arise in expanding systems depending on the thermodynamic conditions (temperature, proton fraction, etc.) and the expansion velocity. Purpose: We aim to find the dynamics of the fragment formation for expanding systems simulated according to the little big bang model. This expansion resembles the evolution of merging neutron stars. Method: We study the dynamics of the nucleons with semiclassical molecular dynamics models. Starting with an equilibrium configuration, we expand the system homogeneously until we arrive at an asymptotic configuration (i.e., very low final densities). We study, with four different cluster recognition algorithms, the fragment distribution throughout this expansion and the dynamics of the cluster formation. Results: Studying the topology of the equilibrium states, before the expansion, we reproduced the known pasta phases plus a novel phase we called pregnocchi, consisting of proton aggregates embedded in a neutron sea. We have identified different fragmentation regimes, depending on the initial temperature and fragment velocity. In particular, for the already mentioned pregnocchi, a neutron cloud surrounds the clusters during the early stages of the expansion, resulting in systems that give rise to configurations compatible with the emergence of the r process. Conclusions: We showed that a proper identification of the cluster distribution is highly dependent on the cluster recognition algorithm chosen, and found that the early cluster recognition algorithm (ECRA) was the most stable one. This approach allowed us to identify the dynamics of the fragment formation. These calculations pave the way to a comparison between Earth experiments and neutron star studies.