Martin Savage, Department of Physics, University of Washington
Monday, November 26, 2012 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
A century of coherent experimental and theoretical investigations have uncovered the laws of nature that underly nuclear physics. Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) and Quantum Electrodynamics (QED), both quantum field theories with a small number of precisely constrained input parameters, dominate the dynamics of the quarks and gluons - the underlying building blocks of protons, neutrons, and nuclei. While the analytic techniques of quantum field theory have played a key role in understanding the dynamics of matter in high energy processes, they encounter difficulties when applied to low-energy nuclear structure and reactions, and dense systems. Expected increases in computational resources into the exascale during the next decade will provide the ability to numerically compute a range of important strong interaction processes directly from QCD, including the structure and interactions of nuclei and hypernuclei, with quantifiable uncertainties using the technique of Lattice QCD. In this presentation, I will discuss the state-of-the-art Lattice QCD calculations of quantities of interest in nuclear physics, progress that is expected in the near future, and the expected impact on nuclear physics.