COLLOQUIUM: Looking out for the little guy: Light nuclei in the computer and the cosmos

Speaker: Dr. Kenneth M. Nollett, Ohio University

Topic: “Looking out for the little guy: Light nuclei in the computer and the cosmos”

Time: 2 p.m., Friday, January 31, 2014

Place: P-148 (refreshments will be served at 1:45 in P-145A)



Only in the last two decades has it become possible to compute properties of nuclei accurately by starting from the bare interactions between their constituent particles. Such ab initio (from the beginning) calculations are even more challenging for nuclear collisions than for the discrete nuclear energy levels to which they were first applied. However, advances in this direction offer important opportunities for astrophysics, where difficult-to-measure nuclear reaction rates are important. Almost all nuclei in the universe (more than 99.5% by number) are lighter than carbon, and this is precisely the mass range in which ab initio reaction theory is now feasible. Both fully ab initio models and models informed by ab initio theory can shed light on long-standing problems at the interface of nuclear physics and astrophysics. I will discuss my work on properties of light nuclei and their role in the first minutes of the big bang.


About the author

More posts by