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where rc is the half-distance between the plates (Fig. 3.9) and np,i is the proton number density in the nuclear matter, while w is the volume fraction occupied by the nuclear matter. All quantities are calculated for the relaxed system. The corrections to the above expressions for B and K1, resulting from the curvature term in the nuclear surface energy and from the changes in the plate thickness, measured along the z-axis, are small (Pethick & Potekhin, 1998).

Now let us consider the rod phase (which can also be called columnar phase, see de Gennes & Prost 1993). The basic parameters describing the ground (relaxed) state are the rod radius rp and the unit cell radius rc (Fig. 3.9). The number of rods per unit area perpendicular to them is 1/nr^. The ground-state

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