Nuclear Structure and Nuclear Reactions

PI Name: 
James Vary
PI Email:
Iowa State University
Allocation Program: 
Allocation Hours at ALCF: 
80 Million
Research Domain: 

Predictions for the structures and reactions of nuclei, with assessed uncertainties, are important for the future of U.S. energy and security needs. The development of a robust and precise nuclear theory, based on the underlying theory of the Standard Model of elementary particles, incorporating both the strong and electroweak sectors, represents a “holy grail” for physics, with many applications in both basic science and applied science. However, developing a comprehensive description of all nuclei and their reactions requires investigations of exotic isotopes that are difficult or impossible to study experimentally.

For this multiyear INCITE project, researchers will continue to use DOE supercomputers to provide needed predictions where direct experiments are not possible or are subject to large uncertainties. Such calculations are relevant to applications in nuclear energy, nuclear security, and nuclear astrophysics, since rare nuclei lie at the heart of nucleosynthesis and energy generation in stars. In regard to nuclear energy, a fundamental description of nuclear structure and nuclear reactions that retains predictive power and carries quantified uncertainties is vital for the future development of advanced fission reactors and fusion energy. The INCITE team’s research agenda is focused on basic nuclear physics that is relevant to DOE’s current and planned user experimental facilities, such as Jefferson Lab and the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, where new phenomena and precision tests of the theory are anticipated.