Experimental and theoretical developments in low-energy subatomic physics go hand in hand, sometimes led by experiments and other times by theory. In addition, computational methods are becoming increasingly important and are enabling progress on scientific problems that were previously considered intractable. In this seminar I will review some of the frontiers in this research field and highlight efforts on developing a truly predictive theory to describe nuclei and their interactions.
A key message is that predictive power requires the ability to quantify theoretical uncertainties. While it is true that theoretical error estimates are difficult to obtain, the pursuit thereof plays a pivotal role in science. Reliable theoretical errors can help to determine to what extent a disagreement between experiment and theory hints at new physics, and they can provide input to identify the most relevant new experiments. As will be shown, nuclear theory is at a stage where such questions can be addressed.
Argonne Physics Division Colloquium Schedule