Author's School

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Author's Department/Program



English (en)

Date of Award

January 2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

Mark Alford


In this dissertation, we investigate the properties of matter, denser than nuclei, that exists inside compact stars. First, we examine a mixed superfluid/superconductor system, which likely occurs in neutron star cores. We derive an effective theory of Cooper pair quasiparticles from a microscopic theory of nucleons, and calculate the coupling strengths between quasiparticles. We then calculate the structure of magnetic flux tubes, taking into consideration interactions between neutron and proton Cooper pairs. We find that interactions between the condensates can lead to interesting phenomena and new phases at the border between type-I and type-II behavior. Next, we examine the response of nuclear matter to vibrational modes by calculating the bulk viscosity from purely leptonic processes. We find that for hot neutron stars, the bulk viscosity due to leptons is very small compared to the bulk viscosity due to nucleons, but for cold neutron stars, the leptonic component is dominant. Finally, we derive the reflection and transmission properties of light at boundaries between phases of matter that have two independent U(1) generators, which may exist at the surface of "strange stars" or at boundaries between different phases of matter in a neutron star.


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