Nuclear Statistical Equilibrium for compact stars: modelling the nuclear energy functional

Abstract : The core collapse supernova is one of the most powerful known phenomena in the universe. It results from the explosion of very massive stars after they have burnt all their fuel. The hot compact remnant, the so-called proto-neutron star, cools down to become an inert catalyzed neutron star. The dynamics and structure of compact stars, that is core collapse supernovae, proto-neutron stars and neutron stars, are still not fully understood and are currently under active research, in association with astrophysical observations and nuclear experiments. One of the key components for modelling compact stars concerns the Equation of State. The task of computing a complete realistic consistent Equation of State for all such stars is challenging because a wide range of densities, proton fractions and temperatures is spanned. This thesis deals with the microscopic modelling of the structure and internal composition of baryonic matter with nucleonic degrees of freedom in compact stars, in order to obtain a realistic unified Equation of State. In particular, we are interested in a formalism which can be applied both at subsaturation and super-saturation densities, and which gives in the zero temperature limit results compatible with the microscopic Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov theory with modern realistic effective interactions constrained on experimental nuclear data. For this purpose, we present, for sub-saturated matter, a Nuclear Statistical Equilibrium model which corresponds to a statistical superposition of finite con- figurations, the so-called Wigner-Seitz cells. Each cell contains a nucleus, or cluster, embedded in a homogeneous electron gas as well as a homogeneous neutron and proton gas. Within each cell, we investigate the different components of the nuclear energy of clusters in interaction with gases. The use of the nuclear mean-field theory for the description of both the clusters and the nucleon gas allows a theoretical consistency with the treatment at saturation and beyond. At densities above two-three times saturation, other degrees of freedom are expected to appear, which potentially lead to other consistency problems but this issue will not be treated in this thesis. The thesis is divided into three parts. In part I, we present the Nuclear Statistical Equilibrium model based on the grand canonical statistics and non-relativistic Skyrme interactions. Results at β-equilibrium are shown and the importance of the clusters distribution as well as a realistic treatment for the free energy model is discussed. Part II investigates the functional behavior of the baryonic energy in the Wigner-Seitz cell within the Extended-Thomas-Fermi approximation. In particular, both bulk and surface in-medium effects are studied, and their dependence on cluster size and asymmetry as well as gas densities and asymmetry is investigated. A preliminary result of in-medium surface effects is presented within some approximations in the case of β-equilibrated matter. In part III, we develop approximations in order to obtain a reliable analytical expression of the mass formula, directly linked to the functional form and parameters of the Skyrme interaction. In this part, we mainly focus on nuclei in vacuum, and analyse the different binding energy components in terms of bulk and surface properties, as well as isovector and isoscalar properties.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 16, 2015 - 9:42:26 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-01244647, version 1


F. Aymard. Nuclear Statistical Equilibrium for compact stars: modelling the nuclear energy functional. Nuclear Experiment [nucl-ex]. Université de Caen Normandie, 2015. English. ⟨tel-01244647⟩



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