Static response of neutron matter
We investigate the problem of periodically modulated strongly interacting neutron matter. We carry out ab initio non-perturbative auxiliary-field diffusion Monte Carlo calculations using an external sinusoidal potential in addition to phenomenological two- and three-nucleon interactions. Several choices for the wave function ansatz are explored and special care is taken to extrapolate finite-sized results to the thermodynamic limit. We perform calculations at various densities as well as at different strengths and periodicities of the one-body potential. Our microscopic results are then used to constrain the isovector term from energy-density functional theories of nuclei at many different densities, while making sure to separate isovector contributions from bulk properties. Lastly, we use our results to extract the static density-density linear response function of neutron matter at different densities. Our findings provide insights into inhomogeneous neutron matter and are related to the physics of neutron-star crusts and neutron-rich nuclei.