Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Physics and Astronomy

Document Type



Advances in computer technologies allow calculations in ever larger model spaces. To keep our understanding growing along with this growth in computational power, we consider a novel approach to the nuclear shell model. The one-dimensional harmonic oscillator in a box is used to introduce the concept of an oblique-basis shell-model theory. By implementing the Lanczos method for diagonalization of large matrices, and the Cholesky algorithm for solving generalized eigenvalue problems, the method is applied to nuclei. The mixed-symmetry basis combines traditional spherical shell-model states with SU(3) collective configurations. We test the validity of this mixed-symmetry scheme on 24Mg and 44Ti. Results for 24Mg, obtained using the Wilthental USD intersection in a space that spans less than 10% of the full-space, reproduce the binding energy within 2% as well as an accurate reproduction of the low-energy spectrum and the structure of the states -- 90% overlap with the exact eigenstates. In contrast, for an m-scheme calculation, one needs about 60% of the full space to obtain compatible results. Calculations for 44Ti support the mixed-mode scheme although the pure SU(3) calculations with few irreps are not as good as the standard m-scheme calculations. The strong breaking of the SU(3) symmetry results in relatively small enhancements within the combined basis. However, an oblique-basis calculation in 50% of the full pf-shell space is as good as a usual m-scheme calculation in 80% of the space. Results for the lower pf-shell nuclei 44-48Ti and 48Cr, using the Kuo-Brown-3 interaction, show that SU(3) symmetry breaking in this region is driven by the single-particle spin-orbit splitting. In our study we observe some interesting coherent structures, such as coherent mixing of basis states, quasi-perturbative behavior in the toy model, and enhanced B(E2) strengths close to the SU(3) limit even though SU(3) appears to be rather badly broken. The results suggest that a mixed-mode shell-model theory may be useful in situations where competing degrees of freedom dominate the dynamics, and full-space calculations are not feasible.



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Committee Chair

J. Draayer