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Physics  2014 

Theory for Quartet Condensation in Fermi Systems with Applications to Nuclei and Nuclear Matter

DOI: 10.1088/1742-6596/529/1/012014

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The theory of quartet condensation is further developed. The onset of quartetting in homgeneous fermionic matter is studied with the help of an in-medium modified four fermion equation. It is found that at very low density quartetting wins over pairing. At zero temperature, in analogy to pairing, a set of equations for the quartet order parameter is given. Contrary to pairing, quartetting only exists for strong coupling and breaks down for weak coupling. Reasons for this finding are detailed. In an application to nuclear matter, the critical temperature for alpha particle condensation can reach values up to around 8 MeV. The disappearance of alpha particles with increasing density, i.e. the Mott transition, is investigated. In finite nuclei the Hoyle state, that is the second 0+ state of 12C is identified as an 'alpha-particle condensate' state. It is conjectured that such states also exist in heavier n-alpha nuclei, like 16O, 20Ne, etc. The sixth 0+ state in 16O is proposed as an analogue to the Hoyle state. The Gross-Pitaevski equation is employed to make an estimate of the maximum number of alpha particles a condensate state can contain. Possible quartet condensation in other systems is discussed briefly.


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