Hadronic, nuclear and atomic physics

Nuclear physics is devoted to the understanding of the basic properties of atomic nuclei and the interactions involving hadrons and nuclei. While the study of such interactions can be performed in a very reliable way for light nuclear systems, the complexity of calculations increases with the number of particles involved. In this case, sophisticated many-body techniques have been developed to produce accurate results using as few approximations as possible. The outcome of many years of high-quality research has fructified in a very good phenomenological description of nuclear structure, masses and sizes, as well as in the formulation of realistic baryon-baryon potentials that are used to describe compact astrophysical objects, such as neutron stars. Despite all this progress, a precise understanding on how nuclear bulk properties and hadronic interactions emerge from the fundamental theory of the strong interaction, quantum chromodynamics (QCD), is still lacking. The large complexity of the quark-gluon dynamics prevents the analytic solution of QCD in the energy regime relevant for nuclear physics, allowing only numerical solutions obtained through large-scale computations. Alternatively, the formulation of interaction Lagrangians in terms of effective hadronic degrees of freedom has proven to be an efficient way to describe a variety of low-energy nuclear phenomena.[+]

ICCUB Contribution

The research performed by nuclear physicists at ICCUB has far-reaching implications, playing an important role in the study of heavy ion collisions and in the equation of state of neutron-rich matter, and involving a wide range of phenomena, from the physics of matter at the femtoscale to the structure and dynamics of neutron stars.[+]

Lines of Research