Mark Caprio, University of Notre Dame

Topic: "Taming The Nucleus: Symmetries And The Computational Scale Explosion"  (Video)

ABSTRACT: A major outstanding problem in nuclear theory lies in developing the connection between single-particle and collective degrees of freedom, that is, predicting strong collective correlations which arise in the motion of nucleons within the nucleus. In principle, once the nucleon-nucleon force is known, prediction of nuclear structure is simply an exercise in solving the many-body Schrödinger equation. However, the nucleus is a strongly-correlated, finite-size quantum many-body system, lying in the computationally challenging regime between the few-body problem and the thermodynamic limit. Direct quantum solution is overwhelmed by a combinatorial explosion in the dimension of the model space: the dimension of the eigenproblem rapidly becomes intractable as the number of nucleons and relevant single-particle states increases. This talk will introduce both the challenges in the nuclear problem and some approaches to overcoming them, through the use of group theory and symmetries to optimize the calculation of the many-fermion dynamics.