FRIB Theory Alliance looks toward engagement opportunities in 2022

By Jutta Escher, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

The FRIB Theory Alliance (FRIB-TA) has enjoyed another successful year in its commitment to FRIB science by fostering advances in theory and by attracting and maintaining a pool of talented early-career scientists.

FRIB-TA held its annual meeting and reported to the broader community on its activities at the Low-Energy Community Meeting, held virtually 9-11 August. Three Theory Fellows (Chloë Hebborn, Xilin Zhang, and Kevin Fossez) and three Bridge Faculty members (Sebastian König, Maria Piarulli, and Saori Pastore) provided updates on their research during the annual meeting, Fellow Christian Drischler presented an award talk during the plenary session, and Jutta Escher gave an overview over recent FRIB-TA activities. Kevin Fossez has since started a new position a Bridge Faculty member at Florida State University. FRIB-TA congratulates him as he starts his new position.

At the same meeting, Theory Fellow Christian Drischler received the inaugural FRIB Achievement Award for Earlier Career Researchers in the Theory category ”for his significant contributions to our understanding of dense matter and neutron-star properties using modern theoretical and statistical approaches.” FRIB TA congratulates him for this achievement, as well as Saori Pastore for earning a Department of Energy Early Career Award, and Sebastian König for earning a National Science Foundation Career Award.

The FRIB-TA summer school “A Practical Walk Through Formal Scattering Theory: Connecting Bound States, Resonances, and Scattering States in Exotic Nuclei and Beyond” was held online 4-6 August. This summer school was organized by Sebastian König, Kevin Fossez, and Heiko Hergert. It offered an introduction to nonrelativistic quantum scattering theory, discussing its fundamental assumptions and techniques guided by concrete applications. Formal aspects, centered around the important concept of the S-matrix, were covered in detail, complemented at each step by numerical illustrations and hands-on programming exercises. 

Two topical programs are planned to be held in-person in the spring of 2022: The program “Optical potentials in nuclear physics,” organized by Chloë Hebborn, Wim Dickhoff, Jeremy Holt, Filomena Nunes, and Gregory Potel, will take place from 21 March to 1 April, 2022. The program “Nuclear isomers in the era of FRIB,” organized by Filip Kondev, Wendell Misch, and Matt Mumpower, will take place 9-20 May, 2022. A new call for schools and topical programs will be issued soon and posted on FRIB-TA’s website.

Currently, the search for one or two new Theory Fellows is underway, with partner institutions Washington University St. Louis, University of Washington in Seattle, Florida State University, and Los Alamos National Laboratory.  A search for a new Bridge Faculty member has also begun, with partner institution Ohio University.

The newly established Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee has begun its work by collecting statistics and revising policies and guidelines. The organization committee is finalizing guidelines for avoiding/minimizing conflicts of interest in the activities of FRIB-TA. Outcomes will be posted on the newly-designed FRIB-TA website.