Theoretical nuclear physics

Definition

Theoretical nuclear physics is the development of models for describing the nucleus and the processes that occur within it. This includes understanding the shape of the nucleus, or why nuclei with certain numbers (so-called magic numbers) of protons or neutrons are more stable than others.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    A magnetotransport study of zirconium pentatelluride now reveals evidence for a chiral magnetic effect, a striking macroscopic manifestation of the quantum and relativistic nature of Weyl semimetals.

    • Qiang Li
    • , Dmitri E. Kharzeev
    • , Cheng Zhang
    • , Yuan Huang
    • , I. Pletikosić
    • , A. V. Fedorov
    • , R. D. Zhong
    • , J. A. Schneeloch
    • , G. D. Gu
    •  & T. Valla
    Nature Physics 12, 550–554
  • Research |

    Doubly magic atomic nuclei — having a magic number of both protons and neutrons — are very stable. Now, experiments revealing unexpectedly large charge radii for a series of Ca isotopes put the doubly magic nature of the 52Ca nucleus into question.

    • R. F. Garcia Ruiz
    • , M. L. Bissell
    • , K. Blaum
    • , A. Ekström
    • , N. Frömmgen
    • , G. Hagen
    • , M. Hammen
    • , K. Hebeler
    • , J. D. Holt
    • , G. R. Jansen
    • , M. Kowalska
    • , K. Kreim
    • , W. Nazarewicz
    • , R. Neugart
    • , G. Neyens
    • , W. Nörtershäuser
    • , T. Papenbrock
    • , J. Papuga
    • , A. Schwenk
    • , J. Simonis
    • , K. A. Wendt
    •  & D. T. Yordanov
    Nature Physics 12, 594–598
  • Research |

    An ab initio calculation of alpha–alpha scattering is described for which the number of computational operations scales approximately quadratically with particle number and which uses lattice Monte Carlo simulations and lattice effective field theory, combined with the adiabatic projection method to reduce the eight-body system to a two-cluster system.

    • Serdar Elhatisari
    • , Dean Lee
    • , Gautam Rupak
    • , Evgeny Epelbaum
    • , Hermann Krebs
    • , Timo A. Lähde
    • , Thomas Luu
    •  & Ulf-G. Meißner
    Nature 528, 111–114
  • Research |

    The exotic double-gamma nuclear decay has been observed in cases where the usual single-gamma decay is forbidden, but now a double-gamma decay of excited 137Ba is reported that is in competition with a single-gamma decay.

    • C. Walz
    • , H. Scheit
    • , N. Pietralla
    • , T. Aumann
    • , R. Lefol
    •  & V. Yu. Ponomarev
    Nature 526, 406–409

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Ab initio calculations of an atomic nucleus with 48 nucleons set a benchmark for computational nuclear physics and provide new insights into the properties of the atomic nucleus and strongly interacting matter.

    • Daniel P. Watts
    Nature Physics 12, 116–117
  • News and Views |

    A recent experiment has provided tantalizing evidence in favour of the elusive 'giant pairing vibration' — an exotic excitation of the atomic nucleus.

    • Jorge Piekarewicz
    Nature Physics 11, 303–304
  • News and Views |

    Powerful γ-ray detectors are revealing fresh details about the interior of the nucleus, focusing initially on cases where there is a large excess of neutrons and edging towards the neutron drip-line limit.

    • Philip Walker
    Nature Physics 10, 338–339