Superfluid Liquid Crystals: Pasta Phases in Neutron Star Crusts
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The pasta phases predicted to occur near the inner boundary of the crust of a neutron star resemble liquid crystals, a smectic A in the case of sheet-like nuclei (lasagna) and the columnar phase in the case of rod-like nuclei (spaghetti). An important difference compared with usual liquid crystals is that the nucleons are superfluid. We develop the hydrodynamic equations for this system and use them to study collective oscillations. Nucleon superfluidity leads to important qualitative differences in the spectra of these oscillations and also increases their frequencies compared with ordinary liquid crystals. We discuss a number of directions for future work.
We are grateful to Gerd Schroder-Turk for informative discussions and Lev Pitaevskii for valuable correspondence. This work was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, according to the research project no. 31 16-32-60023 mol_a_dk.
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