Two new roads to nuclei from first principles
In spite of decades of effort, an explicit connection between the theory of nuclear structure and an underlying Hamiltonian remains elusive for most of the nuclear chart. Indeed, while microscopic potentials (such as Argonne v18) have been successfully tested for light nuclei in ab initio fashion, the description of the vast majority of nuclei remains in the realm of density functional theory. Is there a way to extend microscopic calculations beyond light nuclei? What about establishing a more direct connection between density functionals and nuclear Hamiltonians? I will discuss recent progress in the fields of lattice simulations (emphasizing the links between quantum chhromodynamics, nuclei, ultracold atoms and condensed matter systems) and quantum chemistry, which together may shed light of the answers to the above questions.