The nuclear energy density functional (NEDF) is the tool of choice to investigate the properties of medium-heavy mass nuclei. Among the different microscopic approaches to solve the nuclear many-body problem, probably no other method achieves comparable global accuracy at the same computational cost as the nuclear energy density functional. Among others, the Skyrme functional is the most used; due to its zero-range nature, it can be easily implemented into a numerical code with very low computational cost. Moreover it has been successfully applied in astrophysical calculations to determine some important properties of neutron stars.
The newly established Nuclear Theory group at York offers a PhD project related to the NEDF. The current activity of the group is mainly focused on:
Development of new functionals: recent analyses indicate that the currently used NEDFs have probably reached their limits of accuracy. The question of whether these can be systematically improved appears to be the central issue of present-day investigations in this domain of nuclear-structure physics.
Nuclear data and application to astrophysics: NEDF approaches have reached a very advanced state of development and can describe broad classes of nuclear phenomena and observables. It is thus possible to perform systematic calculations of several nuclear observables such as giant resonances or binding energies along the entire nuclear chart. These data are important since they form the necessary input to describe other physical processes such as r-process nucleosynthesis or nuclear fission.
Proton-neutron pairing: one of the major challenges in NEDF is the description of the residual pairing interaction between protons and neutrons in nuclei close to the proton drip-line. This project will be part of an active research program in close collaboration with the experimental group in York.
A funded PhD project in this area is available from October 2016. Interested candidates are invited to contact Dr Alessandro Pastore: [email protected]