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D. Sanwal (JHU/GSFC), T. Strohmayer, J. Cottam (NASA/GSFC), F. Paerels (Columbia University), M.C. Miller, S. Bhattacharyya (UMD), D. Chakrabarty (MIT)
The Equation of State (EOS) of cold matter beyond nuclear density remains one of the most outstanding unsolved problems in fundamental physics. Cold matter beyond nuclear density may be dominated by exotic components such as hyperons, quark matter, and condensates, or it could be primarily composed of nucleons. Such extreme physical conditions are largely inaccessible in terrestrial labs, but can be probed using precise measurements of neutron star masses and radii. Recent X-ray observations have provided new spectral and timing signatures from the surfaces of neutron stars--including atmospheric lines and pulsation signals--that are providing new probes of neutron star structure, but precise characterization of the properties of neutron stars is not yet within reach. Advances in observing capabilities are required to fully exploit these. The Constellation-X mission will provide the high spectral resolution, large collecting area and time resolution required to allow us to measure the mass and radius of many neutron stars using a variety of techniques. We will discuss methods for constraining the neutron star EOS and the prospects of advancement in our knowledge of the EOS with NASA's Constellation-X mission in the light of recent observations and theoretical modeling efforts.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 37 #4
© 2005. The American Astronomical Soceity.