Title: The relativistic inverse stellar structure problem

The observable macroscopic properties of relativistic stars (whose equations of state are known) can be predicted by solving the stellar structure equations that follow from Einstein’s equation. For neutron stars, however, our knowledge of the equation of state is poor, so the direct stellar structure problem can not be solved without modeling the highest density part of the equation of state in some way. This talk will describe recent work on developing a model independent approach to determining the high-density neutron-star equation of state by solving an inverse stellar structure problem. This method uses the fact that Einstein’s equation provides a deterministic relationship between the equation of state and the macroscopic observables of the stars which are composed of that material. This talk illustrates how this method will be able to determine the high-density part of the neutron-star equation of state with few percent accuracy when high quality measurements of the masses and radii of just two or three neutron stars become available. This talk will also show that this method can be used with measurements of other macroscopic observables, like the masses and tidal deformabilities, which can (in principle) be measured by gravitational wave observations of binary neutron-star mergers.