Density functional theory (DFT) has been applied to the Coulomb many-body problem with great phenomenological success in predicting properties of atoms, molecules, and solids. DFT calculations are comparatively simple to implement yet often very accurate and have a computational cost that makes them favorable for systems with large numbers of fermions. Questions in astrophysics and the advent of new experimental facilities to study nuclei at the limits of existence, as well as societal needs, are driving multi-pronged efforts to further develop DFT for the nuclear many-body problem. This colloquium will describe the challenges and recent progress in improving nuclear DFT, with an emphasis on deriving functionals from microscopic inter-nucleon forces.
Argonne Physics Division Colloquium Schedule