Argonne National Laboratory



Theoretical research in Argonne’s Physics Division addresses a broad range of problems involving the structure and dynamics of hadrons and nuclei. There is a strong emphasis on comparison to data provided by experimental groups at Argonne and at other facilities around the world.

Our research addresses the key questions that compose America’s nuclear physics agenda. We place emphasis on the prediction of phenomena accessible at experimental facilities in the United States and worldwide, such as at the Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System (ATLAS), Jefferson Lab, Fermilab and the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. Our research also impacts on the forthcoming Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) and a possible future electron-ion collider (EIC).

We employ quantum chromodynamics – the strong interaction sector of the Standard Model of Particle Physics – to explore hadron properties in-vacuum and in-medium. Our effort makes genuine predictions for observables, with a focus on hadron and nuclear tomography at the quark and gluon level.

The structure of atomic nuclei is explored in ab initio many-body calculations based on the realistic two- and three-nucleon potentials we have constructed. These potentials give excellent fits to nucleon-nucleon elastic scattering data and the properties of light nuclei.

We use quantum Monte-Carlo methods to compute, e.g., electroweak response, nucleon-nucleus scattering phase shifts, nucleon momentum and density distributions, transition amplitudes and quasi-hole overlaps. Close collaboration with computer scientists enables our programs to use the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) leadership-class computers.

Additional theoretical research in the Physics Division focuses on: dynamical coupled-channel models to study the structure of nucleon resonances; nuclear reactions near the Coulomb barrier; atomic and neutron physics; fundamental quantum mechanics; quantum computing; tests of fundamental symmetries; and the search for a spatial or temporal variation in nature's basic parameters.