Probing the Equation of State of Neutron Stars with Nuclear Reactions Induced by Radioactive Beams in Terrestrial Labs


Professor Bao-An Li

Arkansas State University


The Equation of State (EOS) of neutron-rich nuclear matter, especially the symmetry energy term, is very poorly known. It is, however, very important for many interesting questions in astrophysics, including the nucleosynthesis in pre-supernovae evolution of massive stars, cooling mechanisms of proto-neutron stars formed right after a supernova explosion,mass-radius correlations of neutron stars in beta-equilibrium and the possible hadron-QGP (Quark-Gluon-Plasma) phase transition in the core of neutron stars. Nuclear reactions induced by radioactive beams in terrestrial labs, provide a unique opportunity to constrain the EOS of neutron-rich matter. Many new facilities with extremely neutron-rich radioactive beams up to 2 GeV/nucleon are being built around the world to explore the structures of rare isotopes and the EOS of neutron-rich nuclear matter.

In this talk, I will review the current experiments probing the EOS of neutron-rich matter in terrestrial labs. Based on transport model simulations of nuclear reactions induced by radioactive beams, experimental observables sensitive to the EOS and symmetry energy will be discussed. Using the EOS and symmetry energy constrained by the latest experiments, we infer the radius of canonical neutron stars of 1.4 solar masses and discuss the cooling mechanisms of proto-neutron stars.




Short Bio


Dr. Bao-An Li is a Professor of Physics at Arkansas State University. Dr. Li received his Ph.D. degree in Nuclear Theory from Michigan State University in 1992. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Hahn-Meitner Institute and the Free University of Berlin from 1992-1994, and an Associate Research Scientist at the Cyclotron Institute of Texas A&M University from 1994-1998 before joining the faculty at Arkansas State University.

Dr. Liís main research interest is in nuclear reactions from low to ultra-relativistic energies and nuclear astrophysics. Dr. Li has published one book and over 110 refereed journal articles. He has also given over 120 invited talks, seminars and colloquia about his research in nuclear physics.