Power counting in chiral effective field theory and nuclear binding
Journal article, 2021

Chiral effective field theory (chi EFT), as originally proposed by Weinberg, promises a theoretical connection between low-energy nuclear interactions and quantum chromodynamics (QCD). However, the important property of renormalization-group (RG) invariance is not fulfilled in current implementations and its consequences for predicting atomic nuclei beyond two- and three-nucleon systems has remained unknown. In this work we present a systematic study of recent RG-invariant formulations of chi EFT and their predictions for the binding energies and other observables of selected nuclear systems with mass numbers up to A = 16. Specifically, we have carried out ab initio no-core shell-model and coupled cluster calculations of the ground-state energy of H-3, He-3,He-4, Li-6, and O-16 using several recent power-counting (PC) schemes at leading order (LO) and next-to-leading order, where the subleading interactions are treated in perturbation theory. Our calculations indicate that RG-invariant and realistic predictions can be obtained for nuclei with mass number A <= 4. We find, however, that O-16 is either unbound with respect to the four alpha-particle threshold, or deformed, or both. Similarly, we find that the Li-6 ground-state resides above the alpha-deuteron separation threshold. These results are in stark contrast with experimental data and point to either necessary fine-tuning of all relevant counterterms, or that current state-of-the-art RG-invariant PC schemes at LO in chi EFT lack necessary diagrams-such as three-nucleon forces-to realistically describe nuclei with mass number A > 4.


Chieh-Jen Yang

Chalmers, Physics, Subatomic, High Energy and Plasma Physics

Andreas Ekström

Chalmers, Physics, Subatomic, High Energy and Plasma Physics

Christian Forssén

Chalmers, Physics, Subatomic, High Energy and Plasma Physics

G. Hagen

University of Tennessee

Oak Ridge National Laboratory


2469-9985 (ISSN) 2469-9993 (eISSN)

Vol. 103 5 054304

Weak and rare nuclear processes: nuclear probes of fundamental symmetries and dark matter

Swedish Research Council (VR) (2017-04234), 2018-01-01 -- 2021-12-31.

Strong interactions for precision nuclear physics (PrecisionNuclei)

European Commission (EC) (758027), 2018-02-01 -- 2023-01-31.

Subject Categories

Subatomic Physics

Other Physics Topics

Theoretical Chemistry



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