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Theory for Exploring Nuclear Structure Experiments


Serena degli Avancini
+39 0461 314723
Monday, 3 July, 2017 - 09:00 to Friday, 21 July, 2017 - 19:00
ECT* Rustico conference room 2nd floor

To understand why matter is stable, and thereby shed light on the limits of nuclear stability, is one of the overarching aims and intellectual challenges of basic research in nuclear physics. To relate the stability of matter to the underlying fundamental forces and particles of nature as manifested in nuclear matter, is central to present and planned rare isotope facilities.

Important properties of nuclear systems which can reveal information about these topics are for example masses, and thereby binding energies, and density distributions of nuclei. These are quantities which convey important information on the shell structure of nuclei, with their pertinent magic numbers and shell closures or the eventual disappearence of the latter away from the valley of stability.

During the last decade, the study of nuclear structure and the models used to describe atomic nuclei are experiencing a renaissance. This is driven by three technological revolutions: accelerators capable of producing and accelerating exotic nuclei far from stability; instrumentation capable of detecting the resulting reaction products and gamma radiation, often on an event-by-event basis, in situations where data rates may be many orders of magnitude less than has been traditional; and computing power adequate to analyze the resulting data, often on-line, and to carry out sophisticated theoretical calculations to understand these nuclei at the limits of stability and to unravel what they tell us about nuclei and their structural evolution.

The nuclear shell model plays a central role in guiding our analysis of this wealth of experimental data. It provides an excellent link to the underlying nuclear forces and the pertinent laws of motion, allowing nuclear physicists to interpret complicated experiments in terms of various components of the nuclear Hamiltonian and to understand a swath of nuclei by following chains of isotopes and isotoones over wide ranges of nucleon numbers. The nuclear shell model allows us to see how the structure of nuclei changes and how the occupation of specific nucleonic orbits affects the interplay of residual interactions and configuration mixing. The computed expectation values and transition probabilities can be directly linked to experiment, with the potential to single out new phenomena and guide future experiments. Large-scale shell-model calculations represent also challenging computational and theoretical topics, spanning from efficient usage of high-performance computing facilities to consistent theories for deriving effective Hamiltonians and operators. Alltogether, these various facets of nuclear theory represent important elements in our endeavors to understand nuclei and their limits of stability. It is the goal and motivation of this course to introduce and develop the nuclear structure tools needed to carry out forefront research using the shell model as the central tool. The various projects will focus on the development of a shell-model code for simpler systems like sd">sdsd-shell nuclei, giving the participants the essential ideas of configuration interaction methods. During the first two weeks the aim is to develop such a shell-model code. With these insights, the students can divert into several directions the last week, from the usage of the NushellX suite of nuclear structure programs to further developing their own shell-model program. After completion, it is our hope that the participants have understood the overarching ideas behind central theoretical tools used to analyse nuclear structure experiments.

A recently established initiative, Training in Advanced Low Energy Nuclear Theory, aims at providing an advanced and comprehensive training to graduate students and young researchers in low-energy nuclear theory. The initiative is a multinational network between several European and Northern American institutions and aims at developing a broad curriculum that will provide the platform for a cutting-edge theory for understanding nuclei and nuclear reactions. These objectives will be met by offering series of lectures, commissioned from experienced teachers in nuclear theory. The educational material generated under this program will be collected in the form of WEB-based courses, textbooks, and a variety of modern educational resources. No such all-encompassing material is available at present; its development will allow dispersed university groups to profit from the best expertise available.

The Nuclear Talent initiative has (as of May 2016) organized and run successfully nine advanced courses since the summer of 2012. Three of these courses have been run and organized (in a very successful way) at the premises of the ECT*. We hope thus, if this course gets approved by the board of directors of the ECT*, that we can continue this successful and very fruitful collaboration. The course organized by Giuseppina Orlandini et al at the ECT* last summer had more than fifty applicants. On average, the Nuclear Talent courses we have organized till now have had close to 40 applicants per course. We have normally accepted between 20 and 25 students, of which approximately five or slightly more have been either local students and/or fully self-supported. In 2016 the Nuclear Talent initiatives will run two courses, one in the US and one in Europe.

Registration period: 
06 Dec 2016 to 15 Apr 2017