What is it about?

Most calculations show that at low density part of the binding energy (known as the symmetry energy) approaches zero, but experiments do not. The problem appears to be that most models use mean fields which are not able to produce clusters at low densities, like nature does. In this study we use classical molecular dynamics simulations and find an excellent agreement with the experimental data and corroborate the claim that the formation of clusters has a strong influence on the symmetry energy in the liquid–gas coexistence region.

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Why is it important?

The importance of this study lies on the fact that it remarks the importance of clustering on the calculation of the nuclear binding energy.

Perspectives

The model used is classical and has important limitations that must be overcome. At the same time it points to the very restricting limitations other models have in calculating the binding energy at very low densities.

Dr. Jorge Alberto Lopez
University of Texas at El Paso

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This page is a summary of: Symmetry energy in the liquid–gas mixture, Nuclear Physics A, January 2017, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.nuclphysa.2016.09.012.
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