Modern Aspects of Nuclear Physics

summer term 2020
Lecturer: Schweda Braun-Munzinger
Link to LSF
15 participants

Content

This course gives a selected overview of aspects in nuclear physics that came to the forefront of active research within the recent 5 - 10 years. Substantial progress made in various subfields is discussed in detail. The target audience are master students in their first or second year that are interested in the field. This course serves as an entry point for active research in nuclear and high-energy heavy ion physics, e.g. by starting a master thesis, and is divided into three parts.

Part 1 covers static properties of the nucleon, e.g. its quark and gluon structure. Special emphasis is given to the latest insight in the proton radius where results from elastic electron scattering and laser spectroscopy of the hydrogen hyper-fine structure led to contradicting results. The newest relevant experiments leading to the resolution of this proton radius puzzle are discussed. Novel effects might lead to a saturation of the gluon density inside the nucleon and heavy nuclei. Planned experiments at the CERN Large Hadron Collider as well as at the Electron-Ion Collider that is presently being constructed at Brookhaven National Laboratory will shed light on this fundamental issue.

Part 2 addresses the structure of nuclei in extremis, i.e. at largest neutron numbers until the drip line and beyond. Latest results from experiment and theory on how to understand the synthesis of nuclei as heavy as uranium are discussed. Supernova explosions and the merging of pairs of neutron stars play a key role in understanding the heavy element production in the universe. A new window in (nuclear) astrophysics was opened  with the first observation of gravitational waves GW170817 by the LIGO and Virgo collaborations, where  the merging of a neutron star binary was observed.   This promises to  lead to a complete understanding of nuclear abundances in the universe.

Part 3 discusses key developments in relativistic nuclear collisions where conditions of the early universe, ranging from a few picoseconds to a few microseconds after the big bang, are investigated in the laboratory. The CERN Large Hadron Collider is the flagship that is operating since ten years. Abundances of hadrons that are created during the quark-gluon to hadron phase transition can be understood to good precision within a thermal model description, leading to an understanding of the quark-hadron phase transition. Transport observables such as the shear-viscosity-to-entropy-density ratio reach a universal quantum limit. This limit can be derived from an AdS/CFT correspondence principle and is thus related to string theory. Charmonium (charm-anticharm bound states) and multi-charm hadron production is a harbinger of deconfinement. Recent key results from the ALICE collaboration are discussed and confronted with theory.

Exercise sheets

 
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Modern Aspects of Nuclear Physics
summer term 2020
Schweda Braun-Munzinger
Link zum LSF
15 participants
calendar