Nuclear Structure and Nuclear Reactions

PI Name: 
James Vary
Institution: 
Iowa State University
Allocation Program: 
INCITE
Allocation Hours at ALCF: 
80 Million
Year: 
2017
Research Domain: 
Physics

Predictions for the structure and reactions of nuclei, with assessed uncertainties, are important for the future of the nation’s energy and security needs. Developing a comprehensive description of all nuclei (stable and unstable) and their reactions requires investigations of rare and exotic isotopes with unusual proton-to-neutron ratios that are difficult or impossible to produce and study experimentally.

The team performs state-of-the-art simulations to provide needed quantified predictions where direct experiment is not possible or is subject to large uncertainties. Such calculations are relevant to many applications in nuclear energy, nuclear security, and nuclear astrophysics, since rare nuclei lie at the heart of nucleosynthesis and energy generation in the stars.

This project uses complementary methods applicable to different regions of the nuclear chart, including Green’s function Monte Carlo, Hamiltonian diagonalization (the no-core shell model), coupled cluster, and resonating group methods, in order to perform ab intio calculations of light- and medium-mass nuclei using realistic nucleon-nucleon and three-nucleon interactions.

The team’s predictions will complement DOE’s major investments in forefront experimental facilities. In particular, the team will complement future experiments at the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB), under construction at Michigan State University, electron scattering experiments at Jefferson Laboratory, and neutrino scattering experiments at Fermilab.