Photo: Paul Greenlees


FIDIPRO team against the background of the famous Jyväskylä footbridge and frozen lake (January 6, 2009).

From the left Jacek Dobaczewski, Francesco Raimondi, Alessandro Pastore, Gillis Carlsson, Pekka Toivanen, Kazuhito Mizuyama, Rayner Rodriguez-Guzman, and Jussi Toivanen. (Marcin Borucki, absent from the photo)



The FIDIPRO project at the University of Jyväskylä


The project is jointly funded by the Academy of Finland and University of Jyväskylä within the Finland Distinguished Professor Programme (FIDIPRO). One of the 2006 FIFIPRO grants has been attributed to Jacek Dobaczewski of University of Warsaw, who is now leading the FIDIPRO team at the Physics Department of University of Jyväskylä (JYFL). Currently the team is composed of 8 researchers and students working at JYFL, while the project leader shares his time between stays in Finland and Poland.


The project [1] will last for five years (2007-2011) and has for its objectives advanced studies in theoretical nuclear structure physics, in strong synergy with experimental studies performed at JYFL and with other worldwide initiatives, in order to investigate properties of exotic nuclei. The project will develop and implement new theoretical methods in this domain of physics as well as train young theorists within the M.Sc. and Ph.D. educational programmes at the University of Jyväskylä. The project is strongly linked with other similar activities in the world, like for example UNEDF in the United States [2].




The nuclear science community is now very much aware of the fact that theory efforts in this domain of physics are grossly underfunded in Europe. In a long run, this may create quite inadequate research conditions at existing, built, and planned large-scale European experimental facilities. Important step towards improving upon this situation has been made in Finland; the country, which distinguishes itself on the European level not only by a high level of science funding in general, but also by novel ideas in allocating these funds. The extent and scope of the FIDIPRO project at JYFL is much larger than anything that happen in the European nuclear theory for quite some number of years – an entirely new and focused initiative was created in conjunction with a very successful experimental research centre.


The main idea behind the FIDIPRO project is to bridge the gap between the fundamental, ab initio studies in nuclear structure physics and experiment. Recently, these basic research directions in nuclear theory have achieved important progress in deriving nuclear properties from first principles and in constructing very sophisticated theoretical methods. However, a similar progress in describing heavy nuclei, especially those far from stability, is still not available. To make it happen, the method of choice is the energy density functional (EDF) approach, which, on the one hand, is rooted in fundamental nuclear properties, and, on the other hand, must be adjusted to data in a proper and professional way. The main focus of the FIDIPRO project is on increasing the precision and accuracy of describing exotic nuclei.



Obtained results

Nuclear shell structure is a centrepiece of describing detailed nuclear properties. The quest for a spectroscopic-quality EDFs begins, therefore, with attempts to improve the description of single-particle energies. In 2008, the FIDIPRO team published a study [3] showing that single-particle energies in doubly magic nuclei depend almost linearly on the coupling constants of the nuclear EDF. Therefore, they can be very well characterized by the linear-regression coefficients, which were calculated for the coupling constants of the standard Skyrme functionals, see Fig 1. By using the regression coefficients, we were able to perform a one-step adjustment of the coupling constants to experimental data and show that the current parameterisations of the local EDF does not allow for obtaining rms deviations below 1.1 MeV. This result clearly points to a necessity of extending standard parameterisations beyond the current form.


Figure 1. Regression coefficients illustrating the rate of change of centroid energy (upper panels) and spin-orbit splitting (lower panels) of the 1d5/2 orbital (relative to the 1s1/2 energy) with the EDF coupling constants listed in the abscissa. From Ref. [3].


Regression analysis methods, relevant for a reliable determination of good nuclear EDF parameter sets for nuclear mass fits were also studied within the FIDIPRO project [4]. In particular, a simple model for nuclear binding energies and its regression analysis were used to study the validity and errors of the model's parameters and uncertainties of predicted nuclear masses. This work has won recognition in the new on-line APS journal that aims at spotlighting exceptional research [5].


Another work, completed in 2008, achieved a construction of nuclear EDFs in terms of derivatives of densities up to sixth, next-to-next-to-next-to-leading order (N3LO). A phenomenological functional built in this way conforms to the ideas of the density matrix expansion and is rooted in the expansions characteristic to effective theories. It builds on the standard functionals related to the contact and Skyrme forces, which constitute the zero-order (LO) and second-order (NLO) expansions, respectively. At N3LO, the full functional with density-independent coupling constants, and with the isospin degree of freedom taken into account, contains 376 terms, while the functionals restricted by the Galilean and gauge symmetries contain 100 and 42 terms, respectively, see Fig. 2. For functionals additionally restricted by the spherical, space-inversion, and time-reversal symmetries, the corresponding numbers of terms are equal to 100, 60, and 22, respectively.



Figure 2. Numbers of terms in the EDF with density dependent and density independent coupling constants, Eqs. (28) and (30) of  Ref. [6], respectively, plotted in logarithmic scale as a function of the order in derivatives. From Ref. [6].



Current and future activity

Related to the single-particle energies, we currently study the role of density-dependent coupling constants in the nuclear EDF. The density dependence is systematically introduced into all the coupling constants. Preliminary results show that the single-particle energies cannot be too much corrected in this way, but some improvement can be obtained in the description of bulk nuclear properties.


A large part of our activity now aims at creation of an efficient Quasiparticle Random Phase Approximation (QRPA) computer program, designed for deformed nuclei. Our goal is to create a tool that would allow for a rapid determination of giant-resonance and beta-decay properties for nuclei across the mass chart. To solve the large-dimensional QRPA equations for deformed nuclei, a variant of Lanczos diagonalization method is adapted for QRPA. Two calculation strategies will be used: either a few lowest RPA phonons can be accurately calculated by using restarted Lanczos method, or strength functions can be calculated by using Lanczos moments method. First, a spherical code working on the harmonic-oscillator basis will be constructed for testing and benchmarking purposes.


As a follow-up of Refs. [3] and [6], we now build a numerical code to solve the self-consistent equations with all the N3LO terms taken into account. The code will be used to adjust new coupling constants to experimental data. Our main focus is at improving the description of single-particle energies. Within the same framework, we also study properties of nuclear matter and conservation of equation of continuity.



Dissemination and teaching

Within the FIDIPRO project two lecture courses were delivered at JYFL, in 2007 and 2008. They covered the subject of modern EDF methods in nuclear structure physics and were attended by MSc. and PhD. students of the University of Jyväskylä. At present two of the FIDIPRO team members are the PhD. students and one is an ERASMUS MSc. student.


Within our dissemination activities we organised three topical workshops. On October 25–27, 2007, we organized at JYFL the First FIDIPRO-JSPS Workshop on Energy Density Functionals in Nuclei. The workshop was devoted to modern approaches and methods based on using the EDF methods in nuclear physics, with particular emphasis on first-principle derivations, new parameterisations, and applications including those going beyond the mean-field limit. We hosted over 50 participants, of whom 15 came from Japan, 5 from the United States, and 20 from all over the Europe.


Last year, on October 9–10, 2008 we organised the FIDIPRO-UNEDF collaboration meeting on nuclear energy-density-functional methods. We had 10 visitors from the United States, Poland, Belgium, and France and about the same number of the JYFL participants. Instead of having formal talks, only specific discussion points were briefly introduced by selected participants and then covered in general open discussions. The main goal of the meeting was to review current and future projects, distribute tasks, set priorities, and define sequences of steps in developing the codes. This year, we continue our series by organising on April 20–24, 2009 the Arctic FIDIPRO-EFES Workshop: Future Prospects of Nuclear Structure Physics.



Final remarks

The FIDIPRO project has specific tasks to fulfil within a well-defined frame of time and funding. It constitutes a concerted effort of a quite substantial workforce to achieve specific goals. Although results of scientific research cannot be guaranteed or predicted with certainty, we expect that improvements in describing nuclear global properties, like masses and beta-decay rates, can be achieved. These are very much in demand by experimental groups striving to perform crucial measurements in exotic nuclei, currently intensely investigated. All codes developed within the FIDIPRO project will be rapidly published and made available to other researchers.





  1. More extensive and complete information is available on the project web page:
  2. G.F. Bertsch, Nuclear Physics News 17 (2007) 31
  3. M. Kortelainen, J. Dobaczewski, K. Mizuyama, and J. Toivanen, Phys. Rev. C 77 (2008) 064307.
  4. J. Toivanen, J. Dobaczewski, M. Kortelainen, and K. Mizuyama, Phys. Rev. C 78 (2008) 034306.
  6. B.G. Carlsson, J. Dobaczewski, and M. Kortelainen, Phys. Rev. C 78 (2008) 044326.



Jacek Dobaczewski

University of Warsaw

University of Jyväskylä