Fundamental Physics with Electroweak Probes of Nuclei

Saori Pastore, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Thursday, Dec 07, 10:30 AM - FRIB Theory Fellow Candidate Seminar
1400 Biomedical and Physical Sciences Building

Abstract:  Next-generation experiments are poised to explore lepton-number violation, discern the neutrino mass hierarchy, understand the particle nature of dark matter, and answer other fundamental questions aimed at testing the validity and extent of the standard model. Nuclear uncertainties constitute an obstacle to these discoveries. To describe nuclear properties, I use many-body nuclear interactions and electroweak currents derived in chiral effective field theory, and Quantum Monte Carlo methods to solve for the nuclear structure and dynamics of the many-body problem for nuclei. This microscopic approach yields a coherent picture of the nucleus and its properties, and indicate that many-body effects in both nuclear interactions and electroweak currents are essential to accurately explain the data. In this talk, I will review recent progress in microscopic calculations of electroweak properties of nuclei, with emphasis on recent studies that address the “gA-problem\" and the impact of correlations and lepton-number violating potentials in neutrinoless double-beta decay matrix elements. I will present a novel framework to calculate electron- and neutrino-nucleus quasi-elastic cross sections relevant to neutrino-oscillation experiments, and discuss future developments of these studies within FRIB science.