Sonia Bacca
University of Mainz & TRIUMF

Richard Hill
University of Kentucky & Fermilab

Saori Pastore
Los Alamos National Lab

Daniel Phillips
Ohio University

Program Coordinator:

Farha Habib
(206) 685-4286

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INT Program INT-18-2a

Fundamental Physics with Electroweak Probes of Light Nuclei

June 12 - July 13, 2018

The past decade has witnessed tremendous progress in the theoretical and computational tools that produce our understanding of light nuclei and their interactions with electroweak probes. The level of accuracy and confidence reached by calculations opens up the concrete possibility of using light nuclei to address open questions in other fields of physics, such as particle physics, astrophysics, and atomic physics.

The INT program "Fundamental physics with electroweak probes of light nuclei" will bring together experts from particle, nuclear, atomic, and astrophysics with the goal of identifying quantities needed from the nuclear theory community in order to make progress in our understanding of fundamental physics. Obtaining such results, with properly quantified uncertainties, appears most feasible for light nuclei, but the program will also discuss prospects for progress in other regions of the nuclear chart.

We plan to follow the standard INT-program format of one or two daily talks with plenty of time for discussions and collaborations.

The program will include a workshop "From nucleons to nuclei: enabling discovery for neutrinos, dark matter and more" that will occur during the week June 25th-29th. The workshop leads are Minerba Betancourt (FNAL), Richard Hill (Kentucky/FNAL), and Saori Pastore (LANL). The workshop will discuss neutrino-nucleon and neutrino-nucleus scattering, dark-matter-nucleus interactions, and nuclear beta-decay standard-model tests, surveying the current experimental and theoretical status in these areas. Details on the workshop can be found here.

We encourage all scientists interested in these fields of physics to apply, using the link in the sidebar on the left of this page. The participation of young researchers as well as underrepresented minorities are particularly welcome. If you have any ideas or concerns regarding how we should ensure a diverse set of participants at this program, please contact Prof. Sonia Bacca,

Some of the key topics that will be addressed are:
  • Fundamental properties of neutrinos

    How do we relate the fundamental quark-level interactions of the neutrino to the complete nuclear response? What are the capabilities of lattice QCD and ab initio approaches?

    Next-generation experiments are poised to discover leptonic CP violation, explore lepton-number violation, discern the mass hierarchy, and answer other fundamental questions about neutrinos. However, hadronic uncertainties need to be accounted for, experimental constraints should be incorporated, and radiative corrections must be included.

  • Identifying the particle nature of dark matter

    How can we best work out the connection between particle models of dark-matter interactions with quarks and gluons and the corresponding nuclear responses? What quantities does theory need to provide?

    Discovering the particle nature of dark matter is one of the primary goals of current and future particle physics research worldwide. Understanding how experimental constraints and signals relate to theories of dark matter requires a rigorous connection between amplitudes at the quark-gluon level and the nuclear-level responses.

  • Resolving the proton-radius and deuteron-radius puzzle

    How can theory best support the forthcoming experiments that seek to tease out the solution to the proton- and deuteron-radius puzzles?

    To understand the discrepancy between charge radii extracted from muonic atoms and from electron-nucleus systems, a range of experiments, including high-precision electron-scattering, muon-scattering, and further spectroscopic measurements have been proposed. To understand if beyond-standard-model physics is at work, a thorough analysis of nuclear structure effects and radiative corrections is needed.

  • Understanding light-element nucleosynthesis

    What are the optimum pieces of ab initio theory input to support and ground more phenomenological models? What do forefront uncertainty quantification techniques imply on these quantities?

    For example, solar modeling can now confront measurements of the high-energy end of the solar-neutrino spectrum, as done by SNO and Super-Kamiokande. Accurate cross sections for nuclear reactions are essential if these data are to constrain neutrino oscillations and the Sun's composition.

    If the above endeavors are going to succeed it is of paramount importance to validate QCD-based theory against known experimental data. Thus, a considerable amount of time will be devoted to benchmarking theory vs experiment in electro-weak interactions, and to understanding the role of radiative corrections and factorization of short-distance physics in these processes.
A workshop registration fee may apply for attending the 3rd week; amount to be determined. The registration fee includes participation in the workshop, lectures, and coffee breaks.

This program is sponsored by: