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Determination of the symmetry energy from the neutron star equation of state

Authors: Pedro Barata de Tovar; Márcio Ferreira; Constança Providência

Ref.: Phys. Rev. D 104, 123036 (2021)

Abstract: We analyze the uncertainties introduced in the determination of the neutron star matter proton fraction, in a range of densities close to the saturation density, if the cold β-equilibrium neutron star matter equation of state (EOS) is known. In particular, we discuss the effect of neglecting the muon contribution and of considering that the energy density of nuclear matter is well described by taking only terms until second order in the proton-neutron asymmetry. It is shown that two types of uncertainties may be associated with the extraction of the symmetry energy from the β-equilibrium EOS: an overestimation if terms above the parabolic approximation on the asymmetry parameter are neglected, or an underestimation if the muon contribution is not considered. The effect of the uncertainty on the symmetric nuclear matter EOS on the determination of the proton fraction is discussed. It could be shown that the neutron star mass-radius curve is sensitive to the parabolic approximation on the asymmetry parameter.

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.104.123036

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