Department of Physics & Astronomy
University of New Mexico

Physics and Astronomy Colloquium

From Nuclei to Neutron Stars with Theory, Experiment, and Multimessenger Observations

Presented by Ingo Tews (LANL)

Neutron stars contain the largest reservoirs of degenerate fermions, reaching the highest densities we can observe in the cosmos, and probe matter under conditions that cannot be recreated in terrestrial experiments. While individual neutron stars are already exciting, throughout the Universe, a large number of high-energy, cataclysmic astrophysical collisions of neutron stars are continuously occurring. These collisions send ripples through space-time in the form of gravitational waves, providing an excellent testbed to probe nuclear physics at densities exceeding the density inside atomic nuclei. Furthermore, they are an important site for the production of elements heavier than iron.

To understand these remarkable events, reliable nuclear-physics input is essential. In this colloquium, I will review how we use state-of-the-art nuclear-physics calculations to provide a consistent and systematic approach to strongly interacting systems from atomic nuclei to neutron stars with theoretical uncertainties. I will discuss nuclear-physics predictions for the dense nucleonic matter relevant for neutron stars, and discuss how astrophysical multi-messenger observations of neutron stars and their mergers can be used to further elucidate the properties of nuclear matter at extreme conditions.

3:30 pm, Friday, October 20, 2023


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