A Hot Water Bottle for Aging Neutron Stars?

Krishna Rajagopal



We understand many of the properties of the densest phase of quark matter rigorously from first principles QCD. However, the nature of the second-most-dense phase of quark matter remains unclear. A recently proposed candidate for this phase features both neutrino emissivity and specific heat that are parametrically enhanced relative to those of all other proposed phases of dense matter -- quark or nuclear. If present within a layer of a neutron star, it would control the cooling of the star. The neutrino-dominated cooling would look like standard Direct-URCA as the two enhancements cancel, but old stars, say tens of millions of years and older, would stay orders of magnitude warmer than in any other scenario. Most of my talk will consist of explaining this abstract. At the end, I will explain why it currently remains unclear whether this hot water bottle phase really is the second-densest form of quark matter, and will discuss an alternative possibility.


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