Clusters in nuclear matter and the equation of state
GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH, Germany
The equation of state of nuclear matter is an essential ingredient in the description of astrophysical phenomena such as neutron stars and core-collapse supernovae. It has to be known in a wide range of densities, temperatures and neutron-to-proton asymmetries. The thermodynamical properties of matter are strongly affected by correlations, in particular the appearance of inhomogeneities and the formation of clusters that also modify the chemical composition of the system. Vice versa, the properties of nuclei, e.g. their binding energies, change in a dense medium. These features will be discussed in the context of an extended relativistic density functional approach in comparison to other models.