Low-energy nuclear physics and global neutron star properties

Brett V. Carlson, Mariana Dutra, Odilon Lourenço, Jérôme Margueron

Submitted on 7 September 2022


We address the question of the role of low-energy nuclear physics data in constraining neutron star global properties, e.g., masses, radii, angular momentum, and tidal deformability, in the absence of a phase transition in dense matter. To do so, we assess the capacity of 415 relativistic mean field and non-relativistic Skyrme-type interactions to reproduce the ground state binding energies, the charge radii and the giant monopole resonances of a set of spherical nuclei. The interactions are classified according to their ability to describe these characteristics and we show that a tight correlation between the symmetry energy and its slope is obtained providing N=Z and NZ nuclei are described with the same accuracy (mainly driven by the charge radius data). By additionally imposing the constraints from isobaric analog states and neutron skin radius in 208Pb, we obtain the following estimates: Esym,2=31.8±0.7 MeV and Lsym,2=58.1±9.0 MeV. We then analyze predictions of neutron star properties and we find that the 1.4M neutron star (NS) radius lies between 12 and 14 km for the "better" nuclear interactions. We show that i) the better reproduction of low-energy nuclear physics data by the nuclear models only weakly impacts the global properties of canonical mass neutron stars and ii) the experimental constraint on the symmetry energy is the most effective one for reducing the uncertainties in NS matter. However, since the density region where constraints are required are well above densities in finite nuclei, the largest uncertainty originates from the density dependence of the EDF, which remains largely unknown.


Comment: 26 pages, 20 figures

Subjects: Nuclear Theory; Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena