Elena Litvinova, Western Michigan University
Nuclear shell structure and response toward the limits of mass, isospin and temperature
Argonne Physics Division Seminar - 3 Feb 2014
3:30 PM, Building 203, Conference Room R-150

During the last decade, considerable progress of self-consistent nuclear structure theories based on the density functional concept has shown that they represent a successful strategy toward a universal and precise description of low-energy nuclear dynamics. Driven by fast progressing disciplines like astrophysics, experimental studies of exotic nuclei and synthesis of superheavy elements, the nuclear density functional theories (DFT) have achieved a level of sophistication which permits a description of a wide range of properties for arbitrarily heavy nuclei including those at neutron and proton drip lines.

The commonly used density functional theories themselves, however, do not allow a high-precision description of nuclear properties because of very limited treatment of many-body correlations, which are responsible for binding loosely bound systems, for decay properties and for spectra of excitations. Therefore, we include correlations beyond DFT such as coupling between single nucleons and collective modes by the field theory techniques on the base of the covariant DFT (CDFT) to model temporal and spatial non-localities in the in-medium nucleon-nucleon interaction. Such a theory allows for delicate interplay of various correlations while the Lorentz invariance puts stringent restrictions on the number of parameters in the underlying functional without reducing the quality of agreement with experimental data.

The fully self-consistent and parameter-free implementation of the many-body couplings provides much higher predictive power, compared to the previously existing approaches. The extended CDFT has provided a very successful description of a wide range of nuclear structure phenomena and turned out to be especially suitable for medium-mass and heavy nuclei at the limits of their existence. Various excitation spectra of neutron-rich nuclei, including their spin-isospin response, and shell structure of heavy and superheavy nuclei are described with a very good quality. In this talk, recent developments and perspectives of the extended CDFT are discussed in light of its applications to present and future research topics at radioactive beam facilities and to astrophysics.

Argonne Physics Division Seminar Schedule