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Physics  2013 

Nuclear state densities of odd-mass heavy nuclei in the shell model Monte Carlo approach

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While the shell model Monte Carlo approach has been successful in the microscopic calculation of nuclear state densities, it has been difficult to calculate accurately state densities of odd-even heavy nuclei. This is because the projection on an odd number of particles in the shell model Monte Carlo method leads to a sign problem at low temperatures, making it impractical to extract the ground-state energy in direct Monte Carlo calculations. We show that the ground-state energy can be extracted to a good precision by using level counting data at low excitation energies and the neutron resonance data at the neutron threshold energy. This allows us to extend recent applications of the shell-model Monte Carlo method in even-even rare-earth nuclei to the odd-even isotopic chains of $^{149-155}$Sm and $^{143-149}$Nd. We calculate the state densities of the odd-even samarium and neodymium isotopes and find close agreement with the state densities extracted from experimental data.


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