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Symmetric Nuclear Matter from the Strong Interaction


We study the equation of state of symmetric nuclear matter at zero temperature over a wide range of densities using two complementary theoretical approaches. At low densities, up to twice nuclear saturation density, we compute the energy per particle based on modern nucleon-nucleon and three-nucleon interactions derived within chiral effective field theory. For higher densities, we derive for the first time constraints in a Fierz-complete setting directly based on quantum chromodynamics using functional renormalization group techniques. We find remarkable consistency of the results obtained from both approaches as they come together in density and the natural emergence of a maximum in the speed of sound c_{S} at supranuclear densities. The presence of this maximum appears tightly connected to the formation of a diquark gap. Notably, this maximum is observed to exceed the asymptotic value c_{S}^{2}=1/3 while its exact position in terms of the density cannot yet be determined conclusively.

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