Instabilities of Matter in Strong External Fields and at High Density
In the recent literature, there have been a number of theoretical studies of new phenomena involving the instability of the ground state (sometimes called the vacuum state) of various fundamental forms of matter under unusual perturbations. In this paper we consider in detail two examples of instability under the application of Coulomb fields of superheavy nuclei, against the emission of positrons and the creation of a condensate of charged pion pairs. The former may occur for atomic number Z ∿ 170, whereas the latter requires Z > 103. The theory of possible forms of pion condensation inside nuclear matter and neutron star matter is also discussed. By careful attention to fundamentals, an effort is made to clarify some of the controversy now raging in the literature concerning these speculations.
KeywordsNeutron Star Nuclear Matter Vacuum Polarization Stable Vacuum Neutral Pion
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