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2015 American Physical Society. The density and temperature dependence of the nuclear symmetry free energy is investigated using microscopic two- and three-body nuclear potentials constructed from chiral effective field theory. The nuclear force models and many-body methods are benchmarked to properties of isospin-symmetric nuclear matter in the vicinity of the saturation density as well as the virial expansion of the neutron matter equation of state at low fugacities. The free energy per particle of isospin-asymmetric nuclear matter is calculated assuming a quadratic dependence of the interaction contributions on the isospin asymmetry. The spinodal instability at subnuclear densities is examined in detail.
author list (cited authors)
Wellenhofer, C., Holt, J. W., & Kaiser, N.