We study the zero-temperature equation of state of isospin-symmetric nuclear matter below saturation density by minimizing the energy of the nucleons in a periodic cubic cell at each mean density. We take the energy per nucleon to be the Thomas-Fermi approximation to the Skyrme III functional and include the Coulomb energy. We find several phase transitions between different topologies of matter, going from spheres to rods to slabs to tubes to bubbles with increasing density, and discuss their implications for models of supernova core collapse.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics