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Nuclear physics: a laboratory for many-particle quantum mechanics
(University of Washington)
Oskar Klein Auditorium ()
Oskar Klein Auditorium
Nuclear structure physics has presented a fruitful testing ground
for quantum many-body theory since its beginnings half a century ago.
On one hand, the observed phenomena have given rise to models that
have been invaluable to interpret the underlying physics.
On the other hand, the quest to make a predictive theory
has given strong impetus to developing computational tools to
solve the many-particle Schroedinger equation. I will review
some of these theoretical highlights in nuclear structure,
ranging from the modeling and computation of few-body systems to the
many-particle finite systems represented by our heavy nuclei. Among
the models I discuss are the unitary-limit fermionic Hamiltonian,
the Nilsson model of nuclear deformations, and the Richardson-Gaudin model
of pairing. Computational strategies that have been very successful
in different contexts are the Monte-Carlo methods, the
multi-configuration shell model, and the extensions of mean-field
theory to restore broken symmetries.