A rectangle
FRIB banner

FRIB-TA Supported Scientists

The FRIB Theory Alliance supports young scientists through the FRIB Bridge Faculty program and the National FRIB Theory Fellow program.

Current Theory Bridge Faculty

Prof. Sebastian König, North Carolina State University   [skoenig@ncsu.edu]   start date: 1/2020

Dr. König's research covers a range of topics in theoretical low-energy nuclear physics, centered around effective field theories (EFTs) applied to few-nucleon systems, finite-volume techniques, and other aspects of ab initio calculations. His work addresses in particular aspects which are universal in the sense that they apply to very different systems---not limited to nuclear physics---at the same time. Together with his research group at NC State, Dr. König combines formal theory developments with efficient numerical simulations of quantum systems.

Prof. Saori Pastore, Washington University   [saori@wustl.edu]   start date: 8/2018

Understanding the fundamental interactions in nature and their symmetries is at the heart of the research being developed by Dr. Pastore. She explores the effect of weak interactions in nuclei, using Quantum Monte Carlo techniques to determine nuclear structure, and in particular beta-decays and weak transition matrix elements. Her research connects strongly with the fundamental symmetries program planned for FRIB.

Research highlights: [1]

Prof. Maria Piarulli, Washington University   [mpiarulli@physics.wustl.edu]   start date: 8/2018

Dr. Piarulli’s research aims to develop theoretical and computational methods to accurately explain properties emerging in light nuclei and large systems like neutron stars. Starting from a microscopic description of nuclear systems, she is involved in the derivation of realistic nuclear interactions and electroweak currents that are the main input of sophisticated computational methods. She uses Quantum Monte Carlo applications to study a wide range of topics in nuclear physics, including low-energy nuclear spectra and transitions, low-energy reactions of astrophysical interest, tests of fundamental symmetries, and lepton-nucleus scattering.

Research highlights: [1]

Current Theory Fellows

Dr. Xilin Zhang, hosted by MSU   [zhangx@frib.msu.edu]   start date: 7/2021

Dr. Xilin Zhang has two FRIB-related research projects focusing on nuclear scattering and reactions. The first is developing an ab inito method for computing these processes using the so-called computer experiment strategy. The second is designing fast emulators (related to machine learning) for few-body calculations, which will be extremely useful for analyzing scattering and reaction data. Furthermore, he has been practicing Bayesian inference in analyzing nuclear reaction data since 2014. He is a member of the BUQEYE collaboration.

He is also interested in new-physics searches (e.g., Be-8 anomaly). In addition, he is studying the potential benefits of bringing fundamental physics measurements to outer space in light of the increasing commercial activity there.

He welcomes any students and postdocs interested in these topics to discuss and/or work with him.

Dr. Chloë Hebborn, hosted by LLNL   [hebborn@frib.msu.edu]   start date: 10/2020

Dr. Hebborn's research is in the study of exotic nuclear structures via reaction processes. While part of her work focuses on improvements of few-body models for inclusive and exclusive breakup reactions performed at intermediate energies, she is also interested in ab initio methods providing a unified description of the structure and low-energy reaction properties of light nuclei. One of her goal is the development of microscopically-based effective interactions for exotic nuclei from these ab initio calculations. Her work will support the theoretical analysis of experiments performed at FRIB.

Dr. Christian Drischler, hosted by MSU   [drischler@frib.msu.edu]   start date: 10/2020

Dr. Drischler’s research interests include applications of chiral effective field theory and many-body perturbation theory to derive microscopic constraints on the nuclear matter equation of state and the structure of neutron stars. He has been developing Bayesian methods and fast & accurate emulators for scattering observables based on eigenvector continuation. These tools allow for a rigorous quantification of effective field theory uncertainties and statistically robust comparisons between nuclear theory, observational, and experimental constraints obtained in the FRIB era. Dr. Drischler is active in the BUQEYE collaboration as well as the multi-institutional NSF Physics Frontier Center “Network for Neutrinos, Nuclear Astrophysics, and Symmetries” (N3AS) led by UC Berkeley.

Research highlights: [1]

Dr. Kevin Fossez, hosted by ANL   [fossez@nscl.msu.edu]   start date: 3/2019

The research developed by Dr. Fossez explores the most exotic nuclei ever created. Fossez works on the unification of nuclear structure and reactions. This problem can be addressed either by extending ab-initio capabilities to continuum states, to increase predictive power in unknown regions of the nuclear chart, or by developing novel and more precise approaches at lower energy that take into account the existence of emergent phenomena in nuclei while still being properly connected with the more fundamental levels of description.

Research highlights: [1]

Past Theory Fellows

Dr. Diego Lonardoni   [lonardoni@nscl.msu.edu]  
   FRIB-TA Fellow at LANL, 2015-2020

The research carried out by Dr. Lonardoni contributes to building a predictive understanding of nuclear systems characterized by high neutron-to-proton imbalance, from neutron-rich nuclei to neutron stars, grounded in high-quality nuclear forces and ab-initio theory, including a complete assessment of all uncertainties associated with a nuclear many-body calculation. His results have impact on several FRIB experimental programs as well as other U.S. national laboratories.

Research highlights: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6]

Dr. Gregory Potel Aguilar, LLNL   [potelaguilar1@llnl.gov]
   FRIB-TA Fellow at MSU, 2016-2019

Dr. Potel’s research is in reaction theory and in particular reactions involving deuterons. Deuteron-induced transfer reactions are a popular tool in nuclear physics and recent applications of this probe have included exploring the structure of exotic isotopes and using them as an indirect tool for neutron capture processes. This is the context of Potel's work, which tightly connects with many FRIB experimental programs.

Research highlights: [1]