Frontiers at the interface of astrophysics and microscopic nuclear dynamics

Jeremy W. Holt (U Washington/INT)
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2015-05-07 14:00 - 15:00
TRIUMF Auditorium


The properties of neutron-rich matter lie at the heart of fundamental questions in nuclear structure physics and nuclear astrophysics. In this talk I will present a unified approach to study the static and dynamic properties of neutron-rich matter based on high-precision nuclear forces grounded in the framework of chiral effective field theory. The development of low-momentum chiral nuclear forces with consistent two and three-nucleon interactions has enabled technical advances in both perturbative and non-perturbative many-body methods. I will start by focusing on recent work to compute the nuclear matter equation of state across the large range of densities, temperatures and isospin asymmetries required for numerical simulations of core-collapse supernovae and binary neutron star mergers. Next, the in-medium single-particle properties of nucleons will be studied and used to estimate strong-interaction effects on the charged-current weak reactions occurring in the neutrino decoupling region of proto-neutron stars and to construct microscopic optical model potentials for the description of neutron-capture cross sections on exotic isotopes, both of which are relevant for understanding the possibility of r-process nucleosynthesis in the neutrino-driven winds of core-collapse supernovae. Connections between this work and the research programs at next-generation experimental and observational facilities will be highlighted.

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