Phase separation in low-density neutron matter

Alexandros Gezerlis, Rishi Sharma
2012 Physical Review C  
Low-density neutron matter has been studied extensively for many decades, with a view to better understanding the properties of neutron-star crusts and neutron-rich nuclei. Neutron matter is beyond experimental control, but in the past decade it has become possible to create systems of fermionic ultracold atomic gases in a regime close to low-density neutron matter. In both these contexts pairing is significant, making simple perturbative approaches impossible to apply and necessitating ab
more » ... o microscopic simulations. Atomic experiments have also probed polarized matter. In this work, we study population-imbalanced neutron matter (possibly relevant to magnetars and to density functionals of nuclei) arriving at the lowest-energy configuration to date. For small to intermediate relative fractions the system turns out to be fully normal, while beyond a critical polarization we find phase coexistence between a partially polarized normal neutron gas and a balanced superfluid gas. As in cold atoms, a homogeneous polarized superfluid is close to stability but not stable with respect to phase separation. We also study the dependence of the critical polarization on the density.
doi:10.1103/physrevc.85.015806 fatcat:7ylezcpvkve5toxv4lepzdph5y