Effective field theory for quantum liquid in dwarf stars

Gregory Gabadadze, Rachel A. Rosen

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Abstract

    An effective field theory approach is used to describe quantum matter at greater-than-atomic but less-than-nuclear densities which are encountered in white dwarf stars. We focus on the density and temperature regime for which charged spin-0 nuclei form an interacting charged Bose-Einstein condensate, while the neutralizing electrons form a degenerate fermi gas. After a brief introductory review, we summarize distinctive properties of the charged condensate, such as a mass gap in the bosonic sector as well as gapless fermionic excitations. Charged impurities placed in the condensate are screened with great efficiency, greater than in an equivalent uncondensed plasma. We discuss a generalization of the Friedel potential which takes into account bosonic collective excitations in addition to the fermionic excitations. We argue that the charged condensate could exist in helium-core white dwarf stars and discuss the evolution of these dwarfs. Condensation would lead to a significantly faster rate of cooling than that of carbon- or oxygen-core dwarfs with crystallized cores. This prediction can be tested observationally: signatures of charged condensation may have already been seen in the recently discovered sequence of helium-core dwarfs in the nearby globular cluster NGC 6397. Sufficiently strong magnetic fields can penetrate the condensate within Abrikosov-like vortices. We find approximate analytic vortex solutions and calculate the values of the lower and upper critical magnetic fields at which vortices are formed and destroyed respectively. The lower critical field is within the range of fields observed in white dwarfs, but tends toward the higher end of this interval. This suggests that for a significant fraction of helium-core dwarfs, magnetic fields are entirely expelled within the core.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number028
    JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
    Volume2010
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    StatePublished - May 10 2010

    Keywords

    • Cosmic strings
    • Domain walls
    • Monopoles
    • White and brown dwarfs

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics

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