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Influence of the tetraneutron on the EoS under core-collapse supernovae and heavy-ion collisions conditions

Authors: Helena Pais; C. Albertus; MA Pérez-García; Constança Providência

Ref.: Astron.Astrophys. 679, A113 (2023)

Abstract: Context. Recently, a resonant state of four neutrons (tetraneutron) with an energy of E4n = 2.37 ± 0.38(stat) ± 0.44(sys) MeV and a width of Γ = 1.75 ± 0.22(stat) ± 0.30(sys) MeV was reported. Aims. In this work, we analyze the effect of including such an exotic state on the yields of other light clusters; these clusters not only form in astrophysical sites, such as core-collapse supernovae and neutron star (NS) mergers, but also in heavy-ion collisions. Methods. To this aim, we used a relativistic mean-field (RMF) formalism, where we consider in-medium effects in a two-fold way —that is, via the couplings of the clusters to the mesons, and via a binding energy shift —to compute the low-density equation of state (EoS) for nuclear matter at finite temperature and fixed proton fraction. We consider five light clusters —namely deuterons, tritons, helions, α-particles, and 6He— immersed in a gas of protons and neutrons, and we calculate their abundances and chemical equilib- rium constants with and without the tetraneutron. We also analyze how the associated energy of the tetraneutron would influence such results. Results. We find that the low-temperature, neutron-rich systems are the ones most affected by the presence of the tetraneutron, making NSs excellent environments for their formation. Moreover, its presence in strongly asymmetric matter may increase the proton and α-particle fractions considerably. This may have an influence on the dissolution of the accretion disk of the merger of two NSs.

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