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Neutron stars: a window into dense nuclear matter

Neutron stars: a window into dense nuclear matter

Monday, November 27, 2023 at 4:00 pm
116 Weniger
Dr. Justin Ripley, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Physics

Abstract: Neutron stars are the densest material objects in the universe, and the properties of these stars are determined by the strong, weak, electromagnetic, and gravitational forces. The complicated interplay between these forces sets the equation of state of the star, which is the relation between the stars local pressure, and its local density and temperature. A long-standing goal in astrophysics and nuclear particle physics has been to determine the neutron star equation of state, which could reveal the existence of new, exotic states of matter deep inside the star. A neutron star in a binary is deformed by the gravitational field of its companion, and the extent to which the star is tidally deformed is determined by its equation of state. I review how gravitational wave measurements of the orbit of two neutron stars provides a powerful way to study those stars tidal deformability, which in turn can be used to study the neutron star equation of state. I then discuss recent work which shows that gravitational wave measurements of the tidal deformability can additionally provide a window into the non-equilibrium, dissipative properties of neutron star matter, which sheds light on the relative important of weak interactions within the neutron star core.

Brief Bio: Justin Ripley is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and previously held a postdoctoral position at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at the University of Cambridge. He received his PhD in 2020 from Princeton University. Dr. Ripley studies extreme gravitational environments, from black hole spacetimes to neutron star binaries.

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