Research Article

Determination of the Equation of State of Dense Matter

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Science  22 Nov 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5598, pp. 1592-1596
DOI: 10.1126/science.1078070

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Nuclear collisions can compress nuclear matter to densities achieved within neutron stars and within core-collapse supernovae. These dense states of matter exist momentarily before expanding. We analyzed the flow of matter to extract pressures in excess of 1034 pascals, the highest recorded under laboratory-controlled conditions. Using these analyses, we rule out strongly repulsive nuclear equations of state from relativistic mean field theory and weakly repulsive equations of state with phase transitions at densities less than three times that of stable nuclei, but not equations of state softened at higher densities because of a transformation to quark matter.

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