Speed of sound in dense strong-interaction matter

SCIPOST PHYSICS CORE(2024)

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摘要
We study the speed of sound in strong-interaction matter at zero temperature and in density regimes which are expected to be governed by the presence of a colorsuperconducting gap. At (very) high densities, our analysis indicates that the speed of sound approaches its asymptotic value associated with the non-interacting quark gas from below, in agreement with first-principles studies which do not take the presence of a color-superconducting gap into account. Towards lower densities, however, the presence of a gap induces an increase of the speed of sound above its asymptotic value. Importantly, even if gap-induced corrections to the pressure may appear small, we find that derivatives of the gap with respect to the chemical potential can still be sizeable and lead to a qualitative change of the density dependence of the speed of sound. Taking into account constraints on the density dependence of the speed of sound at low densities, our general considerations suggest the existence of a maximum in the speed of sound. Interestingly, we also observe that specific properties of the gap can be related to characteristic properties of the speed of sound which are indirectly constrained by observations.
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