Seminar Details

Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Dense Matter

Andre da Silva Schneider, Indiana University
Friday, March 1, 10:00 AM - Special Seminar
Nuclear Conference Room

The electromagnetic, neutrino and gravitational wave radiations emitted by compact stars such as a White Dwarf (WD) or a neutron star (NS) depends on the unique properties of the dense matter found in the core and crust of these stars. However, since this matter is not accessible to laboratory experiments because of its great density, from millions of times normal densities in WD to trillions of times normal densities in NS, it has to be studied via computer simulation and astronomical observations. In this work we describe how molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of dense matter can be used to determine some of the properties of matter found in WD and NS. We start describing a MD method to obtain the liquid-solid phase diagram of carbon-oxygen mixtures found in WD stars and how it can be used to place limits on the reaction rate 12C(α, γ)O16 at solar densities/temperatures. We then show how the MD formalism can be used to study matter at even higher densities, such as the ones found in neutron stars and supernovae. We focus on the large-scale shape oscillations associated with formation of exotic nuclear pasta phases found in the crust-core boundary in NS and on the structure factor of different pasta configurations, which are relevant for neutrino opacities in supernovae.