Posterior predictive distributions of neutron-deuteron cross sections
Journal article, 2023

We quantify the posterior predictive distributions (PPDs) of elastic neutron-deuteron (nd) scattering cross sections using nucleon-nucleon (NN) interactions from chiral effective field theory (χEFT) up to and including next-to-next-to-next-to-leading order (N3LO). These PPDs quantify the spread in nd predictions due to the variability of the low-energy constants (LECs) inferred from NN scattering data. We use the wave-packet continuum discretization method to solve the Alt-Grassberger-Sandhas form of the Faddeev equations for elastic scattering. We draw 100 samples from the PPDs of nd cross sections up to 67 MeV in scattering energy, i.e., in the energy region where the effects of three-nucleon forces are expected to be small. We find that the uncertainty about NN LECs inferred from NN scattering data, when assuming uncorrelated errors, does not translate to significant uncertainty in the low-energy nd continuum. Based on our estimates, the uncertainty of nd predictions are dominated by the χEFT truncation error, at least below N3LO. At this order, the 90% credible interval of the PPD and the truncation error are comparable, although both are very small on an absolute scale.

Nuclear forces

Nucleon-nucleon interactions

Nuclear physics

Few-body systems


Sean Miller

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

Physical Review C

24699985 (ISSN) 24699993 (eISSN)

Vol. 107 1 014002

Strong interactions for precision nuclear physics (PrecisionNuclei)

European Commission (EC) (EC/H2020/758027), 2018-02-01 -- 2023-01-31.

Precision Nuclear Theory

Swedish Research Council (VR) (2021-04507_3), 2022-01-01 -- 2025-12-31.

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.

Subject Categories

Subatomic Physics

Other Physics Topics

Probability Theory and Statistics


Basic sciences


C3SE (Chalmers Centre for Computational Science and Engineering)



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