The neutron radii of Lead and neutron stars

Charles J. Horowitz and Jorge Piekarewicz

Submitted on 14 August 2001


A new relation between the neutron skin of a heavy nucleus and the radius of a neutron star is proposed: the larger the neutron skin of the nucleus the larger the radius of the star. Relativistic models that reproduce a variety of ground-state observables can not determine uniquely the neutron skin of a heavy nucleus. Thus, a large range of neutron skins is generated by supplementing the models with nonlinear couplings between isoscalar and isovector mesons. We illustrate how the correlation between the neutron skin and the radius of the star can be used to place important constraints on the equation of state and how it may help elucidate the existence of a phase transition in the interior of the neutron star.


Comment: 4 pages including 4 encapsulated postscript figures

Subjects: Nuclear Theory; Astrophysics