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Hunting for extraterrestrial superfluids

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Friday, April 8, 2016 - 10:30am

Seminar Location: 

  • Duane Physics Room G126

Speaker Name(s): 

Sanjay Reddy

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

Institute for Nuclear Theory
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • CTQM Seminar

Event Details & Abstract: 

During the early days of BCS theory it was realized that Cooper pairing would be quite ubiquitous in nuclear systems and in neutron stars. In dense matter, neutrons, protons, and quarks (if they were to exist in a de-confined state at densities achieved inside neutron stars) would form Cooper pairs resulting in superfluidity and superconductivity inside neutron stars. Despite many theoretical and observational advances it has been challenging to uniquely identify their presence until recently. In my talk I discuss how observations of thermal evolution in accreting neutron stars have provided strong evidence for a state of matter that is both solid and superfluid in the outer regions of the neutron star called the crust.  I will discuss a low energy effective field theory for such matter and calculate its thermal and transport properties. If there is time I will also talk about other strategies to discover superfluid/superconducting phases at the supra-nuclear densities achieved in the cores of neutron stars.