Physics Colloquium: Probing physics beyond the standard model with modern nuclear theory

Event Details

  • Speaker(s): Jason Holt
  • Date:
  • Time: 3:00 pm
  • Location: MacN 415

Abstract

As science probes ever more extreme facets of the universe, the role of nuclear theory in confronting fundamental questions in nature continues to deepen. Long considered a phenomenological field, breakthroughs in many-body methods together with our treatment of nuclear and electroweak forces are rapidly transforming modern nuclear theory into a true first-principles, or ab initio, discipline. 

In this talk I will discuss recent advances which expand the scope of ab initio calculations to essentially all properties of light, medium-mass nuclei and beyond. When based on consistently derived two- and three-nucleon forces, these powerful approaches allow first predictions of the limits of nuclear existence and the evolution of magic numbers far from stability.In particular I will focus on recent extensions to fundamental problems in nuclear-weak physics, including a proposed solution of the long- standing quenching puzzle in beta decays, calculations of neutrinoless double-beta decay for determining neutrino masses, and WIMP-nucleus scattering cross sections relevant for dark matter direct detection searches.