Ab initio nuclear theory
The atomic nucleus is a fascinating, strongly-correlated, self-bound, quantum many-body system. The building blocks are protons and neutrons that are themselves compound many-body structures composed of quarks and gluons. In low-energy nuclear physics, the underlying QCD degrees of freedom are not excited, but are rather manifested in a very complex internucleon force.

building nuclei
Figure: The nuclear chart in a logarithmic scale.
Despite the tremendous complexity of the many-body system and the interactions there is empirical knowledge that surprisingly simple structures and collective phenomena occur in atomic nuclei. In studies of the atomic nucleus one encounters no less than three out of the four fundamental forces in nature: the strong force, the electromagnetic force, and the weak force. In addition, altough one usually considers the nucleons to be the fundamental building blocks of nuclei, there are cases in which the properties of the exchange particles (i.e. mesons) become important.

Our main research interests within ab initio nuclear theory includes:

Research infrastructure

building nuclei

The "discovery engines" of the theoretical research outlined here are the leadership class scientific computing facilities located mainly in the US. The ab initio collaboration has allocated computing time on the following facilities: