Nuclear Theory

A knowledge of the structure properties of large numbers of nuclei, especially those in or near reaction sequences of interest, are required as crucial input for models of many astrophysical sites. For example, the masses, decay lifetimes, and low-lying level structure is needed for thousands of nuclei along the r-process path to understand the synthesis of heavy elements in supernovae. Because it is impossible to experimentally determine the properties of all relevant nuclei, global nuclear structure theories are essential for astrophysical modeling.

Similarly, it is important to be able to calculate the thousands of nuclear reactions that occur in astrophysical scenarios but will never be experimentally determined. Low-energy reaction theories are vital for this purpose.

Additionally, nuclear theory plays an important role in interpreting experimental results. For example, reaction theory is essential for determining Asymptotic Normalization Coefficients from transfer reaction measurements, while shell model calculations are routinely used to determine structure properties from the properties of analog nuclei.

There is FRIB Theory Group that is organizing the nuclear theory community for FRIB science. They have written a "Blue Book" on the theoretical challenges that must be met during the next decade to facilitate the success of an experimental program with short-lived isotopes. They have also written a one-page "manifesto" on the role of nuclear theory in astrophysics.

The FRIB Astrophysics Collaborationwill interface with the FRIB Theory Group to help best define nuclear theory needs that are relevant for studies in astrophysics.

Please contact us with suggestions of nuclear theory topics relevant to astrophysics and research at FRIB.