Can we model heavy nuclei from first principles? | 5/31/2019 | Staff
emilia (Posted by) Level 3
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Modelling the properties of atomic nuclei is a demanding task. It requires a theory that we can apply to a large variety of nuclear species regardless of their masses. M.Sc. Gianluca Salvioni's doctoral dissertation on theoretical nuclear physics attempts formulating such a theory by using inputs from accurate first-principle calculations available for light nuclei.

The atomic nuclei represent a valuable field for testing the fundamental forces of nature as much as a challenge for experimental and theoretical physics. Experimental facilities, like the accelerator laboratory at the University of Jyväskylä, allow us to produce and measure radioactive nuclear species, fighting against the short-lifetimes and exotic nature of these systems.

Nucleus - Nucleons - Neutrons - Protons - Interactions

As we know it, the nucleus is formed by nucleons (neutrons and protons) interacting through the so-called strong interactions. According to the present-day understanding, these interactions have the character of chiral effective interactions—forces derived from the symmetries of the fundamental components of nucleons, quarks and gluons. Calculations using ab initio methods are based on first principles such that all nucleons are active and interacting with these chiral forces. Because large computational resources are required, we can perform such calculations only for a limited number of light nuclei. To describe all of them, more approximations are necessary, and thus one usually...
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