Impurities and Inhomogeneities in Neutron Matter
We employ ab-initio calculations to extract important properties of neutron matter, namely the effective mass and static response. In calculating the effective mass, we carry out non-perturbative calculations of the single-particle excitation spectrum in strongly interacting neutron matter. These are microscopic quantum Monte Carlo computations of many-neutron energies at different densities as well as several distinct excited states. As input, we employ both phenomenological and chiral two and three-nucleon interactions. We use the single-particle spectrum to extract the effective mass in neutron matter. With a view to systematizing the error involved in this extraction, we carefully assess the impact of finite-size effects on the quasiparticle dispersion relation. We find an effective-mass ratio that drops from 1 as the density is increased. Employing quantum Monte Carlo with these same interactions, we study response by computing the ground-state energies of neutrons with an external sinusoidal potential at several different densities. We handle finite-size effects via self-consistent energy-density functional (EDF) calculations for 8250 particles in a periodic volume. We combine these QMC and EDF computations in an attempt to produce a model-independent extraction of the static response function. Our results are consistent with the compressibility sum rule, which encapsulates the limiting behavior of the response function starting from the homogeneous equation of state, without using the sum rule as an input constraint. Our predictions on neutron matter can function as benchmarks for other many-body approaches, thereby shedding light on the physics of neutron-star crusts and neutron-rich nuclei.