Nuclear Matter from Chiral Effective Field Theory in the Era of Multi-Messenger Astronomy
Dr. Christian Drischler
FRIB Theory Fellow, Michigan State University
Neutron stars are unique laboratories for studying strongly interacting, neutron-rich matter under extreme conditions. While much has already been learned about neutron stars in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy, many key questions remain, especially regarding the composition and equation of state (EOS) of the ultra-compressed matter in their inner cores. Statistically robust comparisons between observational, experimental, and theoretical constraints on the EOS are crucial for obtaining a fundamental understanding of the structure and formation of neutron stars, heavy neutron-rich nuclei, and the underlying microscopic dynamics of strongly interacting nuclear matter. In this Physics Colloquium, I will discuss three new methods in nuclear theory that will facilitate such comparisons. I will present an efficient Monte Carlo framework for cutting-edge predictions of nuclear matter observables in many-body perturbation theory. Then, I will demonstrate how Bayesian machine learning combined with chiral effective field theory (EFT) for QCD-based nuclear interactions allows us to quantify uncertainties in EFT calculations of the nuclear EOS rigorously. Finally, I will introduce fast & accurate emulators driven by Eigenvector Continuation as game-changers for the application of Bayesian methods aimed at improving chiral interactions and optical potentials in the FRIB era.
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