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Heat capacity of the neutron star inner crust within an extended nuclear statistical equilibrium model

Abstract : Background: Superfluidity in the crust is a key ingredient for the cooling properties of proto-neutron stars. Present theoretical calculations employ the quasiparticle mean-field Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov theory with temperature-dependent occupation numbers for the quasiparticle states. Purpose: Finite temperature stellar matter is characterized by a whole distribution of different nuclear species. We want to assess the importance of this distribution on the calculation of heat capacity in the inner crust. Method: Following a recent work, the Wigner-Seitz cell is mapped into a model with cluster degrees of freedom. The finite temperature distribution is then given by a statistical collection of Wigner-Seitz cells. We additionally introduce pairing correlations in the local density BCS approximation both in the homogeneous unbound neutron component, and in the interface region between clusters and neutrons. Results: The heat capacity is calculated in the different baryonic density conditions corresponding to the inner crust, and in a temperature range varying from 100 KeV to 2 MeV. We show that accounting for the cluster distribution has a small effect at intermediate densities, but it considerably affects the heat capacity both close to the outer crust and close to the core. We additionally show that it is very important to consider the temperature evolution of the proton fraction for a quantitatively reliable estimation of the heat capacity. Conclusions: We present the first modelization of stellar matter containing at the same time a statistical distribution of clusters at finite temperature, and pairing correlations in the unbound neutron component. The effect of the nuclear distribution on the superfluid properties can be easily added in future calculations of the neutron star cooling curves. A strong influence of resonance population on the heat capacity at high temperature is observed, which deserves to be further studied within more microscopic calculations.
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Submitted on : Monday, January 13, 2020 - 2:59:27 PM
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S. Burrello, F. Gulminelli, F. Aymard, M. Colonna, Ad. R. Raduta. Heat capacity of the neutron star inner crust within an extended nuclear statistical equilibrium model. Physical Review C, American Physical Society, 2015, 92 (5), pp.055804. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevC.92.055804⟩. ⟨in2p3-01226404⟩



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