Abstract: Neutron stars are one of Nature’s most intriguing stellar objects, containing matter under extraordinary conditions of density, temperature, and composition that are difficult to produce in the laboratory. In recent years, neutron star observations have begun to place novel constraints on the properties of strongly interacting matter in the highest-density régime, where current theoretical methods are challenged. At the same time, nuclear effective field theories have matured into a compelling framework to study nuclear matter with quantified uncertainties at the moderate densities present throughout much of neutron star interiors.
In this talk, I will give an overview of recent progress in the microscopic description of hot and dense nuclear matter needed to understand neutron star structure as well as the hydrodynamic evolution of core collapse supernovae and neutron star mergers. I will also discuss how future observational campaigns of neutron stars have the potential to significantly constrain our microscopic models of the nuclear force.