437 research outputs found

    The equation of state and symmetry energy of low density nuclear matter

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    The symmetry energy of nuclear matter is a fundamental ingredient in the investigation of exotic nuclei, heavy-ion collisions and astrophysical phenomena. A recently developed quantum statistical (QS) approach that takes the formation of clusters into account predicts low density symmetry energies far above the usually quoted mean field limits. A consistent description of the symmetry energy has been developed that joins the correct low-density limit with values calculated from quasi-particle approaches valid near the saturation density. The results are confronted with experimental values for free symmetry energies and internal symmetry energies, determined at sub-saturation densities and temperatures below 10 MeV using data from heavy-ion collisions. There is very good agreement between the experimental symmetry energy values and those calculated in the QS approachComment: 16 pages, 10 figures. arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:0908.234

    Constraining supernova equations of state with equilibrium constants from heavy-ion collisions

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    Cluster formation is a fundamental aspect of the equation of state (EOS) of warm and dense nuclear matter such as can be found in supernovae (SNe). Similar matter can be studied in heavy-ion collisions (HIC). We use the experimental data of Qin et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 172701 (2012)] to test calculations of cluster formation and the role of in-medium modifications of cluster properties in SN EOSs. For the comparison between theory and experiment we use chemical equilibrium constants as the main observables. This reduces some of the systematic uncertainties and allows deviations from ideal gas behavior to be identified clearly. In the analysis, we carefully account for the differences between matter in SNe and HICs. We find that, at the lowest densities, the experiment and all theoretical models are consistent with the ideal gas behavior. At higher densities ideal behavior is clearly ruled out and interaction effects have to be considered. The contributions of continuum correlations are of relevance in the virial expansion and remain a difficult problem to solve at higher densities. We conclude that at the densities and temperatures discussed mean-field interactions of nucleons, inclusion of all relevant light clusters, and a suppression mechanism of clusters at high densities have to be incorporated in the SN EOS.Comment: 20 pages, 15 figures, v2: matches published version, only minor editorial correction

    Continuous phase transition and negative specific heat in finite nuclei

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    The liquid-gas phase transition in finite nuclei is studied in a heated liquid-drop model where the nuclear drop is assumed to be in thermodynamic equilibrium with its own evaporated nucleonic vapor conserving the total baryon number and isospin of the system. It is found that in the liquid-vapor coexistence region the pressure is not a constant on an isotherm indicating that the transition is continuous. At constant pressure, the caloric curve shows some anomalies, namely, the systems studied exhibit negative heat capacity in a small temperature domain. The dependence of this specific feature on the mass and isospin of the nucleus, Coulomb interaction and the chosen pressure is studied. The effects of the presence of clusters in the vapor phase on specific heat have also been explored.Comment: 18 pages, 13 figures; Phys. Rev. C (in press

    Employing ternary fission of 242^{242}Pu as a probe of very neutron rich matter

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    Detailed assessments of the ability of recent theoretical approaches to modeling existing experimental data for ternary fission confirm earlier indications that the dominant mode of cluster formation in ternary fission is clusterization in very neutron rich, very low density, essentially chemically equilibrated, nucleonic matter. An extended study and comparison of these approaches applied to ternary fission yields in the thermal neutron induced reaction 241^{241}Pu(nthn_{\rm th},f) has been undertaken to refine the characterization of the source matter. The resonance gas approximation has been improved taking in-medium effects on the binding energies into account. A temperature of 1.29 MeV, density of 6.7×1056.7 \times 10^{-5} nucleons/fm3^3 and proton fraction YpY_p = 0.035 are found to provide a good representation of yields of the ternary emitted light particles and clusters. In particular, results for Z=1Z= 1 and 2 isotopes are presented. Isotopes with larger ZZ are discussed, and the roles of medium and continuum effects, even at very low density are illustrated.Comment: 19 pages, 5 figure

    Liquid-gas phase transition in finite nuclei

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    In a finite temperature Thomas-Fermi framework, we calculate density distributions of hot nuclei enclosed in a freeze-out volume of few times the normal nuclear volume and then construct the caloric curve, with and without inclusion of radial collective flow. In both cases, the calculated specific heats CvC_v show a peaked structure signalling a liquid-gas phase transition. Without flow, the caloric curve indicates a continuous phase transition whereas with inclusion of flow, the transition is very sharp. In the latter case, the nucleus undergoes a shape change to a bubble from a diffuse sphere at the transition temperature.Comment: Proc. of 6th Int. Conf. on N-N Collisions (Gatlinburg); Nuclear Physics A (in press

    Nucleation and cluster formation in low-density nucleonic matter: A mechanism for ternary fission

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    Ternary fission yields in the reaction 241Pu(nth,f) are calculated using a new model which assumes a nucleation-time moderated chemical equilibrium in the low density matter which constitutes the neck region of the scissioning system. The temperature, density, proton fraction and fission time required to fit the experimental data are derived and discussed. A reasonably good fit to the experimental data is obtained. This model provides a natural explanation for the observed yields of heavier isotopes relative to those of the lighter isotopes, the observation of low proton yields relative to 2H and 3H yields and the non-observation of 3He, all features which are shared by similar thermal neutron induced and spontaneous fissioning systems.Comment: 6 pages, 3 figure