Effect of topological defects on "nuclear pasta" observables

A. S. Schneider, D. K. Berry, M. E. Caplan, C. J. Horowitz, Z. Lin

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29 Scopus citations


Background: The "pasta" phase of nuclear matter may play an important role in the structure and evolution of neutron stars. Recent works suggest nuclear pasta has a high resistivity which could be explained by the presence of long-lived topological defects. The defects act as impurities that decrease thermal and electrical conductivity of the pasta. Purpose: To quantify how topological defects affect transport properties of nuclear pasta and estimate this effect using an impurity parameter Qimp. Methods: Contrast molecular dynamics simulations of up to 409 600 nucleons arranged in parallel nuclear pasta slabs (perfect pasta) with simulations of pasta slabs connected by topological defects (impure pasta). From these simulations we compare the viscosity and heat conductivity of perfect and impure pasta to obtain an effective impurity parameter Qimp due to the presence of defects. Results: Both the viscosity and thermal conductivity calculated for both perfect and impure pasta are anisotropic, peaking along directions perpendicular to the slabs and reaching a minimum close to zero parallel to them. In our 409 600 nucleon simulation topological defects connecting slabs of pasta reduce both the thermal conductivity and viscosity on average by about 37%. We estimate an effective impurity parameter due to the defects of order Qimp∼30. Conclusions: Topological defects in the pasta phase of nuclear matter have an effect similar to impurities in a crystal lattice. The irregularities introduced by the defects reduce the thermal and electrical conductivities and the viscosity of the system. This effect can be parametrized by a large impurity parameter Qimp∼30.

Original languageEnglish
Article number065806
JournalPhysical Review C
Issue number6
StatePublished - 17 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

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© 2016 American Physical Society.


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