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Research Journal of Physics
Year: 2010  |  Volume: 4  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 119 - 151

Condensation of Pion Fields in Dense Nucleonic Matter

Yehuwdah E. Chad-Umoren    

Abstract: A review is presented of the state of pion condensation in the nuclear medium (neutron matter, symmetric nuclear matter and neutron stars). This phenomenon has critical consequences for both nuclear physics and astrophysical systems and processes. Initial studies had focused on determining the critical density of the medium that will signal the onset of this phase transition, but recent developments have focused on a description of nuclear and astrophysical systems in the presence of the pion condensate. The approach in this review is to first present the general physical principles and mathematical formulations and then use specific examples to summarise their applications. The study discusses factors that enhance or inhibit condensation, σ-model of pion condensation, finite temperature equation of state of a pion condensed system, effect of chiral symmetry, relativistic models of pion condensation, the influence of pion condensation on the gravitational stability of neutron stars and the influence of magnetic fields on pion phase transition.

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