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The free energy of an alpha particle is calculated using the local
density approximation in the harmonic oscillator basis. The
effective two-body interactions are generated from the lowest
order constrained variational (LOCV) calculation for nuclear
matter at finite temperature, with the Reid and Delta-Reid
potentials. The Fermi?Dirac distribution is used to calculate the
entropy and the occupation probability of each state of alpha
particle at a given temperature. The effective mass is treated as
a variational parameter. Our zero temperature results with the
Delta-Reid interaction agree well with the experimental saturation
data of alpha particle and the other many-body techniques. The
flashing temperature of 5 MeV is found, which is consistent with
experimental evidence. It is concluded that a similar liquid?gas
phase transition to that of nuclear matter is most probable in the
alpha particle and heavier nuclei.
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