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Distribution of nuclei in equilibrium stellar matter from the free-energy density in a Wigner-Seitz cell

Abstract : The aim of the present study is to calculate the nuclear distribution associated at finite temperature to any given equation of state of stellar matter based on the Wigner-Seitz approximation, for direct applications in core-collapse simulations. The Gibbs free energy of the different configurations is explicitly calculated, with special care devoted to the calculation of rearrangement terms, ensuring thermodynamic consistency. The formalism is illustrated with two different applications. First, we work out the nuclear statistical equilibrium cluster distribution for the Lattimer and Swesty equation of state, widely employed in supernova simulations. Secondly, we explore the effect of including shell structure, and consider realistic nuclear mass tables from the Brussels-Montreal Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov model (specifically, HFB-24). We show that the whole collapse trajectory is dominated by magic nuclei, with extremely spread and even bimodal distributions of the cluster probability around magic numbers, demonstrating the importance of cluster distributions with realistic mass models in core-collapse simulations. Simple analytical expressions are given, allowing further applications of the method to any relativistic or nonrelativistic subsaturation equation of state.
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G. Grams, S. Giraud, A.F. Fantina, F. Gulminelli. Distribution of nuclei in equilibrium stellar matter from the free-energy density in a Wigner-Seitz cell. Physical Review C, American Physical Society, 2018, 97 (3), pp.035807. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevC.97.035807⟩. ⟨hal-01763040⟩



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