Center for Nuclear Study

The University of Tokyo

Nuclear Theory

Nuclear theory research

We study various nuclei and their properties by quantum mechanical calculations. Nuclei consist of between one and 200 protons and neutrons which interact with each other by the strong interaction, or the nuclear force. Our goal is to explore the nucleus starting from these constituents, the neutrons and protons, and the arising phenomena which are unique to these many-body quantum systems. The method we apply is the so-called shell model. At the University of Tokyo we have developed the Monte-Carlo shell model which utilizes large parallel computers, such as the K computer. In particular, we predict the properties and the limits of existence of exotic nuclei. In exotic nuclei a change of the so-called magic numbers, which were previously thought to be universal, has been observed. A recent project conducted with the K computer revealed a case of “shape coexistence”, where the nucleus exhibits several shapes in a narrow energy window (see left figure). We are also performing “no-core” shell model calculations of light nuclei, which reveal their cluster structure as shown on the right.

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