Abstract:
The thermal evolution of isothermal neutron stars is studied with matter both in the hadronic phase as well as in the mixed phase of hadronic matter and strange quark matter. In our models, the dominant early-stage cooling process is neutrino emission via the direct Urca process. As a consequence, the cooling curves fall too fast compared to observations. However, when superfluidity is included, the cooling of the neutron stars is significantly slowed down. Furthermore, we find that the cooling curves are not very sensitive to the precise details of the mixing between the hadronic phase and the quark phase and also of the pairing that leads to superfluidity.

Abstract:
We study the quark deconfinement phase transition in hot $\beta$-stable hadronic matter. Assuming a first order phase transition, we calculate the enthalpy per baryon of the hadron-quark phase transition. We calculate and compare the nucleation rate and the nucleation time due to thermal and quantum nucleation mechanisms. We compute the crossover temperature above which thermal nucleation dominates the finite temperature quantum nucleation mechanism. We next discuss the consequences for the physics of proto-neutron stars. We introduce the concept of limiting conversion temperature and critical mass $M_{cr}$ for proto-hadronic stars, and we show that proto-hadronic stars with a mass $M < M_{cr}$ could survive the early stages of their evolution without decaying to a quark star.

Abstract:
The hyperon-hyperon potentials due to a recent SU(3) Nijmegen soft-core potential model are incorporated within a relativistic mean field calculation of strange hadronic matter. We find considerably higher binding energy in bulk matter compared to several recent calculations which constrain the composition of matter. For small strangeness fractions, matter is dominated by a composition of nucleons, Lambdas, and Xis, and the calculated binding energy closely follows that calculated by using the hyperon potentials of our previous calculations. For larger strangeness fractions, the calculated binding energy increases substantially beyond any previous calculation due to a phase transition into Sigma and Xi dominated matter. We also compare bulk matter calculations with finite system calculations, again highlighting the consequences of reducing the Coulomb destabilizing effects in finite strange systems.

Abstract:
We interpret the phase structure of hadronic matter in terms of the basic dynamical and geometrical features of hadrons. Increasing the density of constituents of finite spatial extension, by increasing the temperature T or the baryochemical potential mu, eventually "fills the box" and eliminates the physical vacuum. We determine the corresponding transition as function of T and mu through percolation theory. At low baryon density, this means a fusion of overlapping mesonic bags to one large bag, while at high baryon density, hard core repulsion restricts the spatial mobility of baryons. As a consequence, there are two distinct limiting regimes for hadronic matter. We compare our results to those from effective chiral model studies.

Abstract:
The drag and diffusion coefficients of a hot hadronic medium consisting of pions, kaons and eta using open beauty mesons as a probe have been evaluated. The interaction of the probe with the hadronic matter has been treated in the framework of chiral perturbation theory. It is observed that the magnitude of both the transport coefficients are significant, indicating substantial amount of interaction of the heavy mesons with the thermal bath. The results may have significant impact on the experimental observables like the suppression of single electron spectra originating from the decays of heavy mesons produced in nuclear collisions at RHIC and LHC energies

Abstract:
We analyze diffusion equations in strongly coupled Coulomb mixtures of ions in dense stellar matter. Strong coupling of ions in the presence of gravitational forces and electric fields (induced by plasma polarization in the presence of gravity) produces a specific diffusion current which can separate ions with the same A/Z (mass to charge number) ratios but different Z. This Coulomb separation of ions can be important for the evolution of white dwarfs and neutron stars.

Abstract:
The medium modification of mesons in dense hadronic matter is discussed with a focus on the relationship to the chiral structure of the non-perturbative QCD vacuum.

Abstract:
The cross section for the \J~and \U~interaction with light hadrons is calculated in short-distance QCD, based on the large heavy quark mass and the resulting large energy gap to open charm or beauty. The low energy form of the cross section is determined by the gluon structure functions at large $ x$; hence it remains very small until quite high energies. This behaviour is experimentally confirmed by charm photoproduction data. It is shown to exclude \J~absorption in confined hadronic matter of the size or density attainable in nuclear collisions; in contrast, the harder gluon spectrum in deconfined matter allows break-up interactions.

Abstract:
The equation of state of hot hadronic matter is obtained, by taking into account the contribution of the massive states with the help of the resonance spectrum $\tau (m)\sim m^3$ justified by the authors in previous papers. This equation of state is in agreement with that provided by the low-temperature expansion for the pion intracting gas. It is shown that in this picture the deconfinement phase transition is absent, in agreement with lattice gauge calculations which show the only phase transition of chiral symmetry restoration. The latter is modelled with the help of the restriction of the number of the effective degrees of freedom in the hadron phase to that of the microscopic degrees of freedom in the quark-gluon phase, through the corresponding truncation of the hadronic resonance spectrum, and the decrease of the effective hadron masses with temperature, predicted by Brown and Rho. The results are in agreement with lattice gauge data and show a smooth crossover in the thermodynamic variables in a temperature range $\sim 50$ MeV.

Abstract:
Neutrino propagation in protoneutron stars requires the knowledge of the composition as well as the dynamical response function of dense hadronic matter. Matter at very high densities is probably composed of other particles than nucleons and little is known on the Fermi liquid properties of hadronic multicomponent systems. We will discuss the effects that the presence of $\Lambda$ hyperons might have on the response and, in particular, on its influence on the thermodynamical stability of the system and the mean free path of neutrinos in dense matter.