Abstract:
We perform rigorously the charge renormalization of the so-called reduced Bogoliubov-Dirac-Fock (rBDF) model. This nonlinear theory, based on the Dirac operator, describes atoms and molecules while taking into account vacuum polarization effects. We consider the total physical density including both the external density of a nucleus and the self-consistent polarization of the Dirac sea, but no `real' electron. We show that it admits an asymptotic expansion to any order in powers of the physical coupling constant $\alphaph$, provided that the ultraviolet cut-off behaves as $\Lambda\sim e^{3\pi(1-Z_3)/2\alphaph}\gg1$. The renormalization parameter $0

Abstract:
Condensed Fermi systems with an odd number of particles can be described by means of polarizing external fields having a time-odd character. We illustrate how this works for Fermi gases and atomic nuclei treated by density functional theory or Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov (HFB) theory. We discuss the method based on introducing two chemical potentials for different superfluid components, whereby one may change the particle-number parity of the underlying quasiparticle vacuum. Formally, this method is a variant of non-collective cranking, and the procedure is equivalent to the so-called blocking. We present and exemplify relations between the two-chemical-potential method and the cranking approximation for Fermi gases and nuclei.

Abstract:
We review recent results on a mean-field model for relativistic electrons in atoms and molecules, which allows to describe at the same time the self-consistent behavior of the polarized Dirac sea. We quickly derive this model from Quantum Electrodynamics and state the existence of solutions, imposing an ultraviolet cut-off $\Lambda$. We then discuss the limit $\Lambda\to\infty$ in detail, by resorting to charge renormalization.

Abstract:
We study the Bogoliubov-Dirac-Fock model introduced by Chaix and Iracane ({\it J. Phys. B.}, 22, 3791--3814, 1989) which is a mean-field theory deduced from no-photon QED. The associated functional is bounded from below. In the presence of an external field, a minimizer, if it exists, is interpreted as the polarized vacuum and it solves a self-consistent equation. In a recent paper math-ph/0403005, we proved the convergence of the iterative fixed-point scheme naturally associated with this equation to a global minimizer of the BDF functional, under some restrictive conditions on the external potential, the ultraviolet cut-off $\Lambda$ and the bare fine structure constant $\alpha$. In the present work, we improve this result by showing the existence of the minimizer by a variational method, for any cut-off $\Lambda$ and without any constraint on the external field. We also study the behaviour of the minimizer as $\Lambda$ goes to infinity and show that the theory is "nullified" in that limit, as predicted first by Landau: the vacuum totally kills the external potential. Therefore the limit case of an infinite cut-off makes no sense both from a physical and mathematical point of view. Finally, we perform a charge and density renormalization scheme applying simultaneously to all orders of the fine structure constant $\alpha$, on a simplified model where the exchange term is neglected.

Abstract:
Spin-polarized isospin asymmetric nuclear matter is studied within the Dirac-Brueckner-Hartree-Fock approach. After a brief review of the formalism, we present and discuss the self-consistent single-particle potentials at various levels of spin and isospin asymmetry. We then move to predictions of the energy per particle, also under different conditions of isospin and spin polarization. Comparison with the energy per particle in isospin symmetric or asymmetric unpolarized nuclear matter shows no evidence for a phase transition to a spin ordered state, neither ferromagnetic nor antiferromagnetic.

Abstract:
We study the mean-field approximation of Quantum Electrodynamics, by means of a thermodynamic limit. The QED Hamiltonian is written in Coulomb gauge and does not contain any normal-ordering or choice of bare electron/positron subspaces. Neglecting photons, we define properly this Hamiltonian in a finite box $[-L/2;L/2)^3$, with periodic boundary conditions and an ultraviolet cut-off $\Lambda$. We then study the limit of the ground state (i.e. the vacuum) energy and of the minimizers as $L$ goes to infinity, in the Hartree-Fock approximation. In case with no external field, we prove that the energy per volume converges and obtain in the limit a translation-invariant projector describing the free Hartree-Fock vacuum. We also define the energy per unit volume of translation-invariant states and prove that the free vacuum is the unique minimizer of this energy. In the presence of an external field, we prove that the difference between the minimum energy and the energy of the free vacuum converges as $L$ goes to infinity. We obtain in the limit the so-called Bogoliubov-Dirac-Fock functional. The Hartree-Fock (polarized) vacuum is a Hilbert-Schmidt perturbation of the free vacuum and it minimizes the Bogoliubov-Dirac-Fock energy.

Abstract:
The relation between energy and density (known as the nuclear equation of state) plays a major role in a variety of nuclear and astrophysical systems. Spin and isospin asymmetries can have a dramatic impact on the equation of state and possibly alter its stability conditions. An example is the possible manifestation of ferromagnetic instabilities, which would indicate the existence, at a certain density, of a spin-polarized state with lower energy than the unpolarized one. This issue is being discussed extensively in the literature and the conclusions are presently very model dependent. We will report and discuss our recent progress in the study of spin-polarized neutron matter. The approach we take is microscopic and relativistic. The calculated neutron matter properties are derived from realistic nucleon-nucleon interactions. This makes it possible to understand the nature of the EOS properties in terms of specific features of the nuclear force model.

Abstract:
We solve the Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov (HFB) equations for a spherical mean field and a pairing potential with the inverse Hamiltonian method, which we have developed for the solution of the Dirac equation. This method is based on the variational principle for the inverse Hamiltonian, and is applicable to Hamiltonians that are bound neither from above nor below. We demonstrate that the method works well not only for the Dirac but also for the HFB equations.

Abstract:
We consider the Hartree-Fock approximation of Quantum Electrodynamics, with the exchange term neglected. We prove that the probability of static electron-positron pair creation for the Dirac vacuum polarized by an external field of strength $Z$ behaves as $1-\exp(-\kappa Z^{2/3})$ for $Z$ large enough. Our method involves two steps. First we estimate the vacuum expectation of general quasi-free states in terms of their total number of particles, which can be of general interest. Then we study the asymptotics of the Hartree-Fock energy when $Z\to+\infty$ which gives the expected bounds.

Abstract:
We develop a complete Dirac-Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov approximation to the ground state wave function and energy of finite nuclei. We apply it to spin-zero proton-proton and neutron-neutron pairing within the Dirac-Hartree-Bogoliubov approximation (we neglect the Fock term), using a zero-range approximation to the relativistic pairing tensor. We study the effects of the pairing on the properties of the even-even nuclei of the isotopic chains of Ca, Ni and Sn (spherical) and Kr and Sr (deformed), as well as the $N$=28 isotonic chain, and compare our results with experimental data and with other recent calculations.