Pulsars as Astrophysical Laboratories for Nuclear and Particle Physics / Edition 1

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Pulsars, generally accepted to be rotating neutron stars, are dense, neutron-packed remnants of massive stars that blew apart in supernova explosions. They are typically about 10 kilometers across and spin rapidly, often making several hundred rotations per second. Depending on star mass, gravity compresses the matter in the cores of pulsars up to more than ten times the density of ordinary atomic nuclei, thus providing a high-pressure environment in which numerous particle processes, from hyperon population to quark deconfinement to the formation of Boson condensates, may compete with each other. There are theoretical suggestions of even more "exotic" processes inside pulsars, such as the formation of absolutely stable strange quark matter, a configuration of matter even more stable than the most stable atomic nucleus, ^T56Fe. In the latter event, pulsars would be largely composed of pure quark matter, eventually enveloped in nuclear crust matter.

These features combined with the tremendous recent progress in observational radio and x-ray astronomy make pulsars nearly ideal probes for a wide range of physical studies, complementing the quest of the behavior of superdense matter in terrestrial collider experiments. Written by an eminent author, Pulsars as Astrophysical Laboratories for Nuclear and Particle Physics gives a reliable account of the present status of such research, which naturally is to be performed at the interface between nuclear physics, particle physics, and Einstein's theory of relativity.

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Editorial Reviews

Weber (theoretical physics, Ludwig-Maximilians U., Munich) points out that neutron stars, or pulsars, are one of the two natural stellar environments (white dwarves are the other) in which hot and dense material holds still long enough that its behavior can be explored and the equation of the state associated with it determined. Neglecting to explain why it is more convenient to study them in-situ rather than bring one into the laboratory, he considers such topics as observed properties of the stars, the spectral representation of the two-point Green function, partial-wave expansions, general relativity in a nutshell, strange quark matter stars, criteria for maximum rotation, and the cooling of neutron and strange stars. Among his 10 appendices are Internet addresses where the equations of state are available in tabular form. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Table of Contents

Introduction. Overview of relativistic stars. Observed neutron star properties. Physics of neutron star matter. Relativistic field-theoretical description of neutron star matter. Spectral representation of two-point Green function. Dense matter in relativistic Hartree and Hartree-Fock. Quark-hadron phase transition. Ladder approximation in self-consistent baryon-antibaryon basis. Matrix elements of one-boson-exchange potentials. Partial-wave expansions. Dense matter in relativistic ladder approximation. Models for the equation of state. General relativity in a nutshell. Structure equations of non-rotating stars. Criteria for maximum rotation. Models of rotating neutron stars. Strage quark matter stars. Cooling of neutron and strange stars. Notation. Useful mathematical relationships. Hartree-Fock self-energies at zero temperature. Hartee-Fock self-energies at finite temperature. Helicity-state matrix elements of one-boson-exchange potential. Partial-wave expansion. Rotating stars in general relativity. Quark matter at finite temperature. Models of rotating relativistic neutron stars of selected masses. Equations of state in tabulated form. References.
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