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Nuclear symmetry energy and core-crust transition in neutron stars: A critical study

Authors: Camille Ducoin, Jérôme Margueron, Constança Providência

Ref.: EPL 91, 32001 (2010)

Abstract: The slope of the nuclear symmetry energy at saturation density L is pointed out as a crucial quantity to determine the mass and width of neutron-star crusts. This letter clarifies the relation between L and the core-crust transition. We confirm that the transition density is soundly correlated with L despite differences between models, and we propose a clear understanding of this correlation based on a generalised liquid-drop model. Using a large number of nuclear models, we evaluate the dispersion affecting the correlation between the transition pressure P-t and L. From a detailed analysis it is shown that this correlation is weak due to a cancellation between different terms. The correlation between the isovector coefficients K-sym and L plays a crucial role in this discussion.