California State University, Long Beach
Monday, September 25, 2017 11:15am in PH1-223
(Refreshments served at 10:45am in HSCI-224)

Neutron Stars – Challenges and Opportunities
Prof. Thomas Klähn
California State University Long Beach

During the last decades numerous theoretical investigations, laboratory experiments as well as astronomical observations have been conducted to constrain thermodynamic properties and chemical composition of stellar matter relevant to the description of compact stars, core collapse supernovae and neutron star mergers. These systems are of particular interest as they provide conditions where matter reaches densities several times the saturation density of nuclear matter, viz. the density of an atomic nucleus. This raises the unique possibility that, given sufficiently large density or temperature, the postulated transition from nuclear to quark matter degrees of freedom can be realized in nature. By this fact, the study of dense astrophysical objects, in particular neutron stars, is an invaluable complement to the ongoing search for the quark-gluon plasma in terrestrial high energy collision experiments. New techniques such as gravitational wave astronomy or the recently launched NICER mission promise exciting new data and future insights. The intrinsic connection between the macroscopic structure and evolution of such astrophysical objects and the underlying fundamental interactions between the constituent particles at the microscopic level makes the study of neutron stars and related systems difficult and at the same time very rewarding. It challenges our understanding of nature on both scales. In my presentation, I will discuss mainly the connection between neutron star phenomenology and the underlying equation of state which reflects our current understanding of (not only) the strong interaction.