Symmetry energy of nucleonic matter with tensor correlations

Or Hen, Bao An Li, Wen Jun Guo, L. B. Weinstein, Eli Piasetzky

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The nuclear symmetry energy (Esym(ρ)) is a vital ingredient of our understanding of many processes, from heavy-ion collisions to neutron stars structure. While the total nuclear symmetry energy at nuclear saturation density (ρ0) is relatively well determined, its value at supranuclear densities is not. The latter can be better constrained by separately examining its kinetic and potential terms and their density dependencies. The kinetic term of the symmetry energy, Esymkin(ρ0), equals the difference in the per-nucleon kinetic energy between pure neutron matter (PNM) and symmetric nuclear matter (SNM), often calculated using a simple Fermi gas model. However, experiments show that tensor force induced short-range correlations (SRC) between proton-neutron pairs shift nucleons to high momentum in SNM, where there are equal numbers of neutrons and protons, but have almost no effect in PNM. We present an approximate analytical expression for Esymkin(ρ0) of correlated nucleonic matter. In our model, Esymkin(ρ0)=-10 MeV, which differs significantly from +12.5 MeV for the widely-used free Fermi gas model. This result is consistent with our analysis of recent data on the free proton-to-neutron ratios measured in intermediate energy nucleus-nucleus collisions as well as with microscopic many-body calculations, and previous phenomenological extractions. We then use our calculated Esymkin(ρ) in combination with the known total symmetry energy and its density dependence at saturation density to constrain the value and density dependence of the potential part and to extrapolate the total symmetry energy to supranuclear densities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number025803
JournalPhysical Review C - Nuclear Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 5 Feb 2015


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