Physics Colloquium with Jorge Piekarewicz on the Physics of Neutron Stars
One of the overarching questions animating nuclear physics today is "How does subatomic matter organize itself". Neutron stars are cosmic laboratories uniquely poised to answer this fundamental question. The historical detection of a binary neutron star merger GW170817 by the LIGO-Virgo collaboration and other critical observations since then are providing new insights into the nature of neutron-rich matter and the astrophysical site for the creation of the heaviest elements in the cosmos. In turn, the study of atomic nuclei at terrestrial facilities will help elucidate the underlying dynamics of the rprocess and the structure, dynamics, and composition of neutron stars. It is the strong synergy between heaven and earth that will be the focus of this presentation.