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Combining symmetry breaking and restoration with configuration interaction: A highly accurate many-body scheme applied to the pairing Hamiltonian

J. Ripoche, D. Lacroix, D. Gambacurta, J.-P. Ebran, and T. Duguet

Background : Ab initio many-body methods have been developed over the past ten years to address mid-mass nuclei. In their best current level of implementation, their accuracy is of the order of a few percent error on the ground-state correlation energy. Recently implemented variants of these methods are operating a breakthrough in the description of medium-mass open-shell nuclei at a polynomial computational cost while putting state-of-the-art models of internucleon interactions to the test.
Purpose : As progress in the design of internucleon interactions is made, and as questions one wishes to answer are refined in connection with increasingly available experimental data, further efforts must be made to tailor many-body methods that can reach an even higher precision for an even larger number of observable quantum states or nuclei. The objective of the present work is to contribute to such a quest by designing and testing a new many-body scheme.
Methods : We formulate a truncated configuration-interaction method that consists of diagonalizing the Hamiltonian in a highly truncated subspace of the total N-body Hilbert space. The reduced Hilbert space is generated via the particle-number projected BCS state along with projected seniority-zero two- and four-quasiparticle excitations. Furthermore, the extent by which the underlying BCS state breaks U(1) symmetry is optimized in the presence of the projected two- and four-quasiparticle excitations. This constitutes an extension of the so-called restricted variation after projection method in use within the frame of multireference energy density functional calculations. The quality of the newly designed method is tested against exact solutions of the so-called attractive pairing Hamiltonian problem.
Results : By construction, the method reproduces exact results for N=2 and N=4. For N=(8,16,20), the error in the ground-state correlation energy is less than (0.006%, 0.1%, 0.15%) across the entire range of internucleon coupling defining the pairing Hamiltonian and driving the normal-to-superfluid quantum phase transition. The presently proposed method offers the advantage of automatic access to the low-lying spectroscopy, which it does with high accuracy.
Conclusions : The numerical cost of the newly designed variational method is polynomial (N6) in system size. This method achieves unprecedented accuracy for the ground-state correlation energy, effective pairing gap, and one-body entropy as well as for the excitation energy of low-lying states of the attractive pairing Hamiltonian. This constitutes a sufficiently strong motivation to envision its application to realistic nuclear Hamiltonians in view of providing a complementary, accurate, and versatile ab initio description of mid-mass open-shell nuclei in the future.

See online : Phys. Rev. C.95.014326



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