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SummaryWhat is the size of the atomic nucleus? This deceivably simple question is difficult to answer. While the electric charge distributions in atomic nuclei were measured accurately already half a century ago, our knowledge of the distribution of neutrons is still deficient. In addition to constraining the size of atomic nuclei, the neutron distribution also impacts the number of nuclei that can exist and the size of neutron stars. We present an ab initio calculation of the neutron distribution of the neutron-rich nucleus 48 Ca. We show that the neutron skin (difference between radii of neutron and proton distributions) is significantly smaller than previously thought. We also make predictions for the electric dipole polarizability and the weak form factor; both quantities are currently targeted by precision measurements. Based on ab initio results for 48 Ca, we provide a constraint on the size of a neutron star.

The electric dipole strength distribution in 48 Ca between 5 and 25 MeV has been determined at RCNP, Osaka, from proton inelastic scattering experiments at forward angles. Combined with photoabsorption data at higher excitation energy, this enables the first extraction of the electric dipole polarizability αD( 48 Ca) = 2.07(22) fm 3 . Remarkably, the dipole response of 48 Ca is found to be very similar to that of 40 Ca, consistent with a small neutron skin in 48 Ca. The experimental results are in good agreement with ab initio calculations based on chiral effective field theory interactions and with state-of-the-art density-functional calculations, implying a neutron skin in 48 Ca of 0.14 − 0.20 fm.Introduction.-The equation of state (EOS) of neutronrich matter governs the properties of neutron-rich nuclei, the structure of neutron stars, and the dynamics of corecollapse supernovae [1,2]. The largest uncertainty of the EOS at nuclear densities for neutron-rich conditions stems from the limited knowledge of the symmetry energy J, which is the difference of the energies of neutron and nuclear matter at saturation density, and the slope of the symmetry energy L, which is related to the pressure of neutron matter. The symmetry energy also plays an important role in nuclei, where it contributes to the formation of neutron skins in the presence of a neutron excess. Calculations based on energy density functionals (EDFs) pointed out that J and L can be correlated with isovector collective excitations of the nucleus such as pygmy dipole resonances [3] and giant dipole resonances (GDRs) [4], thus suggesting that the neutron skin thickness, the difference of the neutron and proton root-mean-square radii, could be constrained by studying properties of collective isovector observables at low energy [5]. One such observable is the nuclear electric dipole polarizability α D , which represents a viable tool to constrain the EOS of neutron matter and the physics of neutron stars [6][7][8][9][10][11].While correlations among α D , the neutron skin and the symmetry energy parameters have been studied extensively with EDFs [12][13][14][15][16], only recently have ab initio calculations based on chiral effective field theory (χEFT) interactions successfully studied such correlations in medium-mass nuclei [17,18]. By using a set of chiral two-plus three-nucleon interactions [19,20] and

Abstract. Electromagnetic reactions on light nuclei are fundamental to advance our understanding of nuclear structure and dynamics.The perturbative nature of the electromagnetic probes allows to clearly connect measured cross sections with the calculated structure properties of nuclear targets. We present an overview on recent theoretical abinitio calculations of electron-scattering and photonuclear reactions involving light nuclei. We encompass both the conventional approach and the novel theoretical framework provided by chiral effective field theories. Because both strong and electromagnetic interactions are involved in the processes under study, comparison with available experimental data provides stringent constraints on both many-body nuclear Hamiltonians and electromagnetic currents. We discuss what we have learned from studies on electromagnetic observables of light nuclei, starting from the deuteron and reaching up to nuclear systems with mass number A = 16.

The 4 He total photoabsorption cross section is calculated with the realistic nucleon-nucleon potential Argonne V18 and the three-nucleon force (

We calculate the nuclear structure corrections to the Lamb shift in muonic deuterium by using state-of-the-art nucleon-nucleon potentials derived from chiral effective field theory. Our calculations complement previous theoretical work obtained from phenomenological potentials and the zero range approximation. The study of the chiral convergence order-by-order and the dependence on cutoff variations allows us to improve the estimates on the nuclear structure corrections and the theoretical uncertainty coming from nuclear potentials. This will enter the determination of the nuclear radius from ongoing muonic deuterium experiments at PSI.

We present a calculation of the giant dipole resonance in 16 O based on a nucleon-nucleon (NN) interaction from chiral effective field theory that reproduces NN scattering data with high accuracy. By merging the Lorentz integral transform and the coupled-cluster methods, we extend the previous theoretical limits for break-up observables in light nuclei with mass numbers (A ≤ 7), and address the collective giant dipole resonance of 16 O. We successfully benchmark the new approach against virtually exact results from the hyperspherical harmonics method in 4 He. Our results for 16 O reproduce the position and the total strength (bremsstrahlung sum rule) of the dipole response very well. When compared to the cross section from photo-absorption experiments the theoretical curve exhibits a smeared form of the peak. The tail region between 40 and 100 MeV is reproduced within uncertainties.

We optimize chiral interactions at next-to-next-to leading order to observables in two-and threenucleon systems, and compute Gamow-Teller transitions in 14 C and 22,24 O using consistent twobody currents. We compute spectra of the daughter nuclei 14 N and 22,24 F via an isospin-breaking coupled-cluster technique, with several predictions. The two-body currents reduce the Ikeda sum rule, corresponding to a quenching factor q 2 ≈ 0.84 − 0.92 of the axial-vector coupling. The half life of 14 C depends on the energy of the first excited 1 + state, the three-nucleon force, and the two-body current.

Stimulated by the proton radius conundrum, measurements of the Lamb shift in various light muonic atoms are planned at PSI. The aim is to extract the rms charge radius with high precision, limited by the uncertainty in the nuclear polarization corrections. We present an ab initio calculation of the nuclear polarization for μ(4)He(+) leading to an energy correction in the 2S-2P transitions of δ(pol)(A)=-2.47 meV ±6%. We use two different state-of-the-art nuclear Hamiltonians and utilize the Lorentz integral transform with hyperspherical harmonics expansion as few-body methods. We take into account the leading multipole contributions, plus Coulomb, relativistic, and finite-nucleon-size corrections. Our main source of uncertainty is the nuclear Hamiltonian, which currently limits the attainable accuracy. Our predictions considerably reduce the uncertainty with respect to previous estimates and should be instrumental to the μ(4)He(+) experiment planned for 2013.

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