Document Type


Publication Date



Exact symmetry and symmetry-breaking phenomena play a key role in gaining a better understanding of the physics of many-particle systems, from quarks and atomic nuclei, through molecules and galaxies. In nuclei, exact and dominant symmetries such as rotational invariance, parity, and charge independence have been clearly established. Beyond such symmetries, the nature of nuclear dynamics appears to exhibit a high degree of complexity, and only now, we show the fundamental role of an emergent approximate symmetry in nuclei, the symplectic Sp(3,ℝ) symmetry, as clearly unveiled from ab initio studies that start from realistic interactions. In this article, we detail and enhance our recent findings presented in [T. Dytrych, K.D. Launey, J.P. Draayer, D.J. Rowe, J.L. Wood, G. Rosensteel, C. Bahri, D. Langr, R.B. Baker, Phys. Rev. Lett. 124, 042501 (2020)], that establish Sp(3,ℝ) as a remarkably good symmetry of the strong interaction, and point to the predominance of a few equilibrium nuclear shapes (deformed or not) with associated vibrations and rotations that preserve the symplectic Sp(3,ℝ) symmetry. Specifically, we find that the structure of nuclei below the calcium region in their ground state, as well as in their low-lying excited states and giant resonances, respects this symmetry at the 60–80% level.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

European Physical Journal: Special Topics

First Page


Last Page