Correlations in many-body systems, from condensed matter physics to nuclear physics

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Date/Time:Wednesday, 22 Apr 2015 from 4:10 pm to 5:00 pm
Location:A401 Zaffarano Hall
Channel:College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
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Morten Hjorth-Jensen, University of Oslo and Michigan State University

Theoretical modeling of complicated many-particle systems has reached a stage where in many cases we can get an almost industrial precision in our reproduction of experiment. In quantum chemistry, condensed matter physics, atomic and molecular physics, we can nowadays perform routinely first principle calculations of systems with many interacting particles (electrons mainly). In nuclear physics as well, due to both algorithmic (hardware and software) advances as well as better constrained forces, we are in a position where we can compute reliably, although we still lack proper error quantifications, many properties of nuclei, from bulk properties to excited states. With reliable theoretical estimates of many-particle systems, we can then start to ask questions like 'how do we define correlations in many-body systems and how do they relate to the underlying laws of motion and thereby forces? The consequences of correlations in many-particle systems are normally extremely difficult to measure experimentally and to interpret theoretically. There are rather few observables
from which one can extract clear information on correlations beyond say an independent particle motion
in a many-body environment.

In this talk I will illustrate some of the above topics by studying some selected many-body systems from solid state physics and nuclear physics. In particular, I will discuss properties of the electron gas in two and three dimensions as well as quantum dots and neutron-rich nuclei and infinite neutron-rich matter. I will point to several similarities as well as differences in these systems and hopefully shed more light on how we interpret correlations and their links to the underlying forces.