|Auteur||Samyn, Mathieu (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|Titre||Improved Nuclear Predictions of Relevance to the R-Process of Nucleosynthesis|
|Département||F407 - Faculté des sciences - Physique (email@example.com)|
|Intitulé du diplôme||Doctorat en sciences, Spécialisation physique|
|Date de défense||2004-01-22|
Flocard, Hubert (Membre du jury/Committee Member)
Heenen, Paul-Henri (Membre du jury/Committee Member)
Pearson, John Michael (Membre du jury/Committee Member)
Wagemans, Cyriel (Membre du jury/Committee Member)
Arnould, Marcel (Promoteur/Director)
Goriely, Stéphane (Promoteur/Director)
|Mots-clés||fission barrier, radiative neutron capture cross section, effective mass, mass table, Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov, HFB, mean-field theory, pairing correlations, mass formula, Skyrme force, QRPA, restauration of broken symmetries, energy surface, atomic mass|
|Résumé||The rapid neutron-capture process, known as the r-process, is responsible for the origin of about half the stable nuclei heavier than iron observed in nature. Though the r-process is believed to take place in explosive stellar environments and to involve a large number (few thousands) of exotic nuclei, this nucleosynthesis process remains poorly understood from the astrophysics as well as nuclear physics points of view. On the nuclear physics side, the nuclei are too exotic to be studied in the laboratory, even though great efforts are constantly made to extend the experimental limits away from the eta-$stability region. Therefore, theoretical models are indispensable to estimate the nuclear properties of interest in the r-process nucleosynthesis modelling. So far, models used to predict the properties of the exotic nuclei were based on parametrized macroscopic-type approaches the reliability of which is questionable when extrapolating far away from the experimentally known region.
This work is devoted to the improvement of nuclear predictions, such as the nuclear ground- and excited-state properties, needed as input data to model the r-process. In order to give the predictions a reliable character, we rely on the microscopic mean-field Hartree-Fock theory based on the Skyrme-type interaction. Pairing correlations play an important role in the description of nuclei, and become essential for nuclei located near the drip lines, since the scattering of pairs of quasi-particles into the continuum increases significantly.
In this work, we brought to the Hartree-Fock model the self-consistent treatment of the pairing correlations within the Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov (HFB) theory. Further improvements are made in the restoration of symmetries broken by correlations added in the form of additional degrees of freedom in the wave function. These include the translational invariance restored by calculating the recoil energy, the particle-number symmetry by an exact projection after variation, the rotational symmetry by an approximate cranking correction and the parity symmetry for reflection asymmetric shapes. In addition, the renormalization of the HFB equations has been studied as well and allows to eliminate the dependence of the total energy with respect to the cutoff energy. The effective nucleon-nucleon interaction is determined by adjusting its parameters on all available experimental masses, with some constraints derived from fundamental nuclear matter properties. A systematic study of the influence on mass predictions for each of the above cited improvements as well as of some uncertainties affecting the particle-hole and particle-particle interactions has been conducted. In spite of quite important differences in the input physics, we find a great stability in the mass predictions for exotic neutron-rich nuclei, though local mass differences can be significant.
Each of the Skyrme force derived in the present work has been tested on the predictions of basic ground-state properties (including charge radii, quadrupole moments, single-particle levels), fission barriers and electric dipole $gamma-$ray strengths. The HFB predictions globally reproduce experimental data with a level of accuracy comparable with the widely-used droplet-like models. The microscopic character of the approach followed in the present work makes however the predictions for exotic neutron-rich nuclei involved in the r-process more reliable.
The influence of such improved nuclear mass predictions on the r-process abundance distribution is studied in the specific scenario of the prompt supernova explosion mechanism.