From effective field theories to effective density functionals in and beyond the mean field

M. Grasso, D. Lacroix, U. Van Kolck

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Since the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physics, nuclear theory has evolved along two main directions. On the one hand, the energy-density functional (EDF) theory was established, which presently encompasses (by enlarging the EDF framework) all the mean-field and beyond-mean-field theories based on energy functionals produced by effective phenomenological interactions. Highly sophisticated structure and reaction models are currently available for the treatment of medium-mass and heavy nuclei. On the other hand, effective field theories (EFTs) have rendered possible the formulation of QCD as a low-energy hadronic theory. Ab initio methods have recently achieved remarkable success in the application of EFT or EFT-inspired potentials to structure analyses of light nuclei. Different but complementary competences have been developed during the past few decades in the EDF and EFT communities. Bridges and connections have in some cases been identified and constructed. We review here some of the developments that have been performed within the EDF theory and the EFT during recent years, with some emphasis on analogies and connections that may one day provide a unified picture of the two theories. Illustrations are given for infinite matter and finite nuclei.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number063005
JournalPhysica Scripta
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 16 2016


  • effective field theory
  • effective interaction
  • mean-field and beyond

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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