School Seminar Program

How mean is the field? Theoretical description of nuclear dynamics

Dr Cédric Simenel
Nuclear Physics

The quantum many-body problem is common to all fields aiming at describing complex quantum systems of interacting particles. Examples range from quarks and gluons in a nucleon to macromolecules such as fullerenes. Nuclear systems are another example where up to about 500 nucleons (in the case of actinide collisions) may interact. What make nuclear systems special to test quantum many-body theories is their small size (few Fermi) and short “native” time scale (few zeptoseconds) ensuring the complete isolation from external environment, and then, the preservation of quantum coherence during the collision. Heavy-ion collisions are then ideal to investigate fundamental aspects of quantum physics.

Predicting the outcome of heavy-ion collisions is very challenging as several reaction mechanisms may occur. Ideally, the same theoretical model should be able to describe all the outcomes, e.g., (in)elastic scattering, multi-particle transfer, and fusion. A good starting point is to consider that the particles evolve independently in the mean-field generated by the ensemble of particles. This leads to the well known time-dependent Hartree-Fock (TDHF) theory proposed by Dirac. Recent applications of the TDHF approach and some of its extensions in nuclear physics will be discussed.

Cédric Simenel is a nuclear physicist, investigating nuclear dynamics using both theoretical and experimental approaches. He received the doctoral degree in 2003 and the habilitation to supervise research in 2012 from the University of Caen (France). A researcher at the Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique in Saclay (France) between 2003 and 2012, he also worked as a research fellow at the Michigan State University (2004–2005) and at the ANU (2009–2011). He was awarded a Future Fellowship from the Australian Research Council in 2012 to work at the ANU.

Refreshments will be held in the Tea Room after the Seminar (around 5pm)


Date & time

Thu 18 Sep 2014, 4–5pm


Leonard Huxley Lecture Theatre


Staff, students and public welcome