An innovative symmetry-guided approach and its applications to light and intermediate-mass nuclei is discussed. This approach, with Sp(3, R) the underpinning group, is based on our recent remarkable finding, namely, we have identified the symplectic Sp(3,R) as an approximate symmetry for low-energy nuclear dynamics. This study presents the results of two complementary studies, one that utilizes realistic nucleon-nucleon interactions and unveils symmetries inherent to nuclear dynamics from first principles (or ab initio), and another study, which selects important components of the nuclear interaction to explain the primary physics responsible for emergent phenomena, such as enhanced collectivity and alpha clusters. In particular, within this symmetry-guided framework, ab initio applications of the theory to light nuclei reveal the emergence of a simple orderly pattern from first principles. This provides a strategy for determining the nature of bound states of nuclei in terms of a relatively small fraction of the complete shell-model space, which, in turn, can be used to explore ultra-large model spaces for a description of alpha-cluster and highly deformed structures together with associated rotations. We find that by using only a fraction of the model space extended far beyond current no-core shell-model limits and a long-range interaction that respects the symmetries in play, the outcome reproduces characteristic features of the low-lying 0+ states in 12C (including the elusive Hoyle state of importance to astrophysics) and agrees with ab initio results in smaller spaces. For these states, we offer a novel perspective emerging out of no-core shell-model considerations, including a discussion of associated nuclear deformation, matter radii, and density distribution. The framework we find is also extensible beyond 12C, namely, to the low-lying 0+ states of 8Be as well as the ground-state rotational band of Ne, Mg, and Si isotopes.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Journal of Physics: Conference Series
Launey, K., Dreyfuss, A., Baker, R., Draayer, J., & Dytrych, T. (2015). Emergent symmetries in atomic nuclei from first principles. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 597 (1) https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/597/1/012054