Neutron Stars, Nuclei, and the Nuclear Equation of State: Progress and Opportunities in Nuclear Theory
The dense matter encountered in neutron star interiors and in theevolution of Type II supernovae probes a region of the QCD phase diagram which is inaccessible to lattice calculations and terrestrial experiments. I will cover some recent developments in the description of dense matter and the equation of state of nucleonic and quark matter. These theoretical advances, together with observations of neutron star masses, radii, neutrino emission, and photon emission, provide a unique opportunity to constrain the description of neutron stars, supernovae, and the dense matter equation of state. There has also been significant progress in constraining the nuclear equation of state from observables derived from nuclear structure and heavy-ion collisions. Modern equations of state are now consistent with the ground-state properties of stable nuclei and with what is known about saturated nuclear matter and low-density neutron matter. Opportunities lie ahead for further constraints on the equation of state from neutron-rich nuclei and giant resonances, which in turn has exciting implications for astrophysics.