Neutron stars are astrophysical laboratories of many extremes of physics. Their rich phenomenology provides insights into the state and composition of matter at densities which cannot be reached in terrestrial experiments. Since the core of a mature neutron star is expected to be dominated by superfluid and superconducting components, observations also probe the dynamics of large-scale quantum condensates. The testing and understanding of the relevant theory tends to focus on the interface between the astrophysics phenomenology and nuclear physics. The connections with low-temperature experiments tend to be ignored. However, there has been dramatic progress in understanding laboratory condensates (from the different phases of superfluid helium to the entire range of superconductors and cold atom condensates). In this review, we provide an overview of these developments, compare and contrast the mathematical descriptions of laboratory condensates and neutron stars and summarise the current experimental state-of-the-art. This discussion suggests novel ways that we may make progress in understanding neutron star physics using low-temperature laboratory experiments.
V. Graber, N. Andersson and M. Hogg
Mon, 24 Oct 16