Towards unraveling nuclear and hypernuclear forces from quantum chromodynamics

Zohreh Davoudi, University of Maryland - College Park
Wednesday, Jan 10, 4:10 PM - Nuclear Science Seminar
NSCL Lecture Hall 1200

Abstract:  Unraveling nuclear forces in nature remains one of the active frontiers in the nuclear science research. The forces among the neutrons as well as those among nucleons and hyperons, being still largely unknown, play a role in the equation of state of neutron stars and dense matter and the structure properties of rare isotopes. On the theoretical front, only a systematic approach based on the underlying theory of strong interactions (QCD) may enable reliable predictions with quantifiable uncertainties. Effective field theories of few-nucleon forces can in principle be constrained by experiment, however, with scarce experimental data for systems involving few neutrons and the hyperons, theoretical predictions remain limited. Recent advances in computational capabilities have allowed the quantum theory of strong interactions to be solved for few-nucleon systems. Physical scattering amplitudes can be directly accessed and the missing input to effective field theories can be obtained. Although this program is still limited to unphysical inputs for the quark masses, with increased computational resources towards the Exascale, major progress in physical light nuclear systems is anticipated. In this talk, I present the results of a recent study by the NPLQCD collaboration that demonstrates the path from QCD to nuclear and hypernuclear forces. These results reveal intriguing properties of nuclear and hypernuclear forces that are consistent with the predictions of QCD in the limit of a large number of colors. Further progress in obtaining reaction and structure properties of light nuclei from QCD will be briefly reviewed.