Density dependence of the symmetry energy in the post-PREX-CREX era

Brendan T. Reed, F. J. Fattoyev, C. J. Horowitz, J. Piekarewicz

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The recently published CREX results suggest a rather peculiar picture for the density dependence of the symmetry energy. Whereas PREX favors a large neutron skin thickness in Pb208, thereby suggesting a stiff equation of state, CREX suggests instead a much softer equation of state. This discrepancy has caused a large spur in the theoretical community, since no model has been able to simultaneously reproduce within 1σ the PREX and CREX results. Motivated by a novel correlation between a CREX observable and a combination of bulk symmetry energy parameters, we calibrate three new covariant energy density functionals that reproduce binding energies and charge radii of spherical nuclei - and also accommodate the constraints imposed by PREX and CREX. Given that these models suggest a stiff equation of state at high densities, predictions for neutron star properties are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number035803
JournalPhysical Review C
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024
Externally publishedYes

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© 2024 American Physical Society.


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