Neutron Stars in the Laboratory
Neutron stars unite many extremes of physics and can serve as astrophysical laboratories that allow us to probe states of matter at densities which cannot be reached on Earth. One exciting example is the presence of superfluid and superconducting components in mature neutron stars. When developing mathematical models to describe these large-scale quantum condensates, physicists tend to focus on the interface between astrophysics and nuclear physics. Connections with low-temperature experiments are generally ignored. However, there has been dramatic progress in understanding laboratory condensates (from different phases of superfluid helium to the entire range of superconductors and cold atom condensates). In this talk, I will provide an overview of these developments, compare and contrast the descriptions of laboratory condensates and neutron stars, and suggest novel ways that we may make progress in understanding neutron star physics using low-temperature laboratory experiments.