Lab Nazl Sud, I-95123 Catania, Italy
; Univ Catania, I-95123 Catania, Italy
; Chinese Acad Sci, Inst High Energy Phys, Beijing 100039, Peoples R China
We try to single out some qualitative effects of coupling to a delta-isovector-scalar meson, introduced in a minimal way in a phenomenological hadronic field theory. Results for the equation of state (EOS) and the phase diagram of asymmetric nuclear matter (ANM) are discussed. We stress the consistency of the delta-coupling introduction in a relativistic approach. Contributions to the slope and curvature of the symmetry energy and to the neutron-proton effective mass splitting appear particularly interesting. A more repulsive EOS for neutron matter at high baryon densities is expected. Effects on the critical properties of warm ANM, mixing mechanical and chemical instabilities and isospin distillation, are also presented. The delta influence is mostly on the isovectorlike collective response. The results are largely analytical, and this makes the physical meaning quite transparent. Implications for nuclear structure properties of drip-line nuclei and for reaction dynamics with radioactive beams are finally pointed out.