Ab-initio Nuclear Structure and Nuclear Reactions

PI Gaute Hagen, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Hagen INCITE 2020

Conceptual art connects the atomic underpinnings of the neutron-rich calcium-48 nucleus with the Crab Nebula, which has a neutron star at its heart. Zeros and ones depict the computational power needed to explore objects that differ in size by 18 orders of magnitude. Image: Gaute Hagen, Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Atomic nuclei are strongly interacting, quantum many-body systems displaying fascinating properties. They exhibit emergent phenomena characteristic of large complex systems while at the same time being laboratories of most fundamental laws of nature. Predictions for the structure and reactions of nuclei, with assessed uncertainties, are important for the future of the nation’s energy and security needs.

Building on previous INCITE research, this project will employ advanced ab-initio quantum many-body techniques coupled with applied mathematics and computer science methods to study a wide range of nuclei and to accurately describe the atomic nucleus from first principles, including their electroweak transitions and reactions important in both terrestrial experiments and astrophysical environments. The team’s predictions will complement DOE’s major investments in forefront experimental facilities, including existing low-energy nuclear physics facilities, Jefferson Laboratory, neutrino experiments, and the forthcoming Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) under construction at Michigan State University. Ultimately, results from this INCITE project will help support and guide new experiments, explain observed phenomena, and potentially propel the discovery of new laws of nature.