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The similarity renormalization group (SRG), based on the simple one-body free harmonic oscillator Hamiltonian, is applied to various nucleon-nucleon realistic interactions to investigate the unitarity of the SRG transformations. Two-body and three-body contributions to the SRG-evolved Hamiltonian are studied in the framework of spectral distribution theory for reasonable SRG cutoffs and in multiparticle systems, with up through 28 particles considered. The outcome points to the first evidence for the overall importance of three-body SRG-induced interactions and especially, of its two-body effective content in multinucleon systems, without the need for large-scale shell model calculations for many light to heavier nuclei. © 2012 American Physical Society.

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Physical Review C - Nuclear Physics