Overview of the density dependence of the Nuclear Symmetry Energy

Betty Tsang


National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory,

Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan


The symmetry energy in the nuclear equation of state affects many aspects of nuclear astrophysics, nuclear structure, and nuclear reactions. A decade ago, Brown [1] showed that realistic parameterizations of the Skyrme interactions that fit the binding energy differences between 100Sn and 132Sn nuclei yield very different symmetry term in the nuclear equation of state and predict a large range of the skin radii of 132Sn.  Substantial progress has been achieved in recent years in constraining the density dependence of nuclear symmetry energy at and around the saturation density with a wide range of experiments. An overview of these constraints as well as the deduced and measured skin thicknesses of 208Pb will be presented.  The talk will also discuss the implications of the constraints to nuclear structure and astrophysics and give an up-to-date assessment in the ongoing quest to determine the symmetry energy dependence in regions above the nuclear matter density.