Abstract:
The complete exact solution of the T=1 neutron-proton pairing Hamiltonian is presented in the context of the SO(5) Richardson-Gaudin model with non-degenerate single-particle levels and including isospin-symmetry breaking terms. The power of the method is illustrated with a numerical calculation for $^{64}$Ge for a $pf+g_{9/2}$ model space which is out of reach of modern shell-model codes.

Abstract:
An exactly solvable sp(4) algebraic approach extends beyond the traditional isospin conserving nuclear interaction to bring forward effects of isospin symmetry breaking and isospin mixing resulting from a two-body nuclear interaction that includes proton-neutron (pn) and like-particle isovector pairing correlations plus significant isoscalar pn interactions. The model yields an estimate for the extent to which isobaric analog 0+ states in light and medium mass nuclei may mix with one another and reveals possible, but still extremely weak, non-analog beta-decay transitions.

Abstract:
We perform a complete calculation of charge symmetry breaking effects for the reaction pn -> d pi0 at leading order in chiral perturbation theory. A new leading-order operator is included. From our analysis we extract \delta m_N^{str}, the strong contribution to the neutron-proton mass difference. The value obtained, \delta m_N^{str} = 1.5 \pm 0.8 (exp.) \pm 0.5 (th.) MeV, is consistent with the result based on the Cottingham sum rule. This agreement provides a non-trivial test of our current understanding of the chiral structure of QCD.

Abstract:
We investigate the BCS treatment of neutron-proton pairing involving time-reversed orbits. We conclude that an isospin-symmetric hamiltonian, treated with the help of the generalized Bogolyubov transformation, fails to describe the ground state pairing properties correctly. In order for the np isovector pairs to coexist with the like-particle pairs, one has to break the isospin symmetry of the hamiltonian by artificially increasing the strength of np pairing interaction above its isospin symmetric value. We conjecture that the np isovector pairing represents part (or most) of the congruence energy (Wigner term) in nuclear masses.

Abstract:
Symmetry properties of densities and mean fields appearing in the nuclear Density Functional Theory with pairing are studied. We consider energy functionals that depend only on local densities and their derivatives. The most important self-consistent symmetries are discussed: spherical, axial, space-inversion, and mirror symmetries. In each case, the consequences of breaking or conserving the time-reversal and/or proton-neutron symmetries are discussed and summarized in a tabulated form, useful in practical applications.

Abstract:
We describe a class of exactly-solvable models of interacting bosons based on the algebra SO(3,2). Each copy of the algebra represents a system of neutron and proton bosons in a given bosonic level interacting via a pairing interaction. The model that includes s and d bosons is a specific realization of the IBM2, restricted to the transition regime between vibrational and gamma-soft nuclei. By including additional copies of the algebra, we can generate proton-neutron boson models involving other boson degrees of freedom, while still maintaining exact solvability. In each of these models, we can study not only the states of maximal symmetry, but also those of mixed symmetry, albeit still in the vibrational to gamma-soft transition regime. Furthermore, in each of these models we can study some features of F-spin symmetry breaking. We report systematic calculations as a function of the pairing strength for models based on s, d, and g bosons and on s, d, and f bosons. The formalism of exactly-solvable models based on the SO(3,2) algebra is not limited to systems of proton and neutron bosons, however, but can also be applied to other scenarios that involve two species of interacting bosons.

Abstract:
Thermal behavior of isoscalar and isovector proton-neutron (pn) pairing energies at finite temperature are investigated by the shell model calculations. These pn pairing energies can be estimated by double differences of "thermal" energies which are extended from the double differences of binding energies as the indicators of pn pairing energies at zero temperature. We found that the delicate balance between isoscalar and isovector pn pairing energies at zero temperature disappears at finite temperature. When temperature rises, while the isovector pn pairing energy decreases, the isoscalar pn pairing energy rather increases. We discuss also the symmetry energy at finite temperature.

Abstract:
We reexamine neutron-proton pairing as a phenomenon that should be explanable in a microscopic theory of nuclear binding energies. Empirically, there is an increased separation energy when both neutron and proton numbers are even or if they are both odd. The enhancement is present at some level in nearly all nuclei: the separation energy difference has the opposite sign in less than 1% of the cases in which sufficient data exist. We discuss the possible origin of the effect in the context of density functional theory (DFT) and its extensions. Neutron-proton pairing from the Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov theory does not seem promising to explain the effect. We demonstrate that much of the increased binding in the odd-odd system might be understood as a recoupling energy. This suggests that the DFT should be extended by angular momentum projection to describe the effect.

Abstract:
The role of neutron-proton pairing correlations on the structure of nuclei along the $N=Z$ line is reviewed. Particular emphasis is placed on the competition between isovector ($T=1$) and isoscalar $(T=0$) pair fields. The expected properties of these systems, in terms of pairing collective motion, are assessed by different theoretical frameworks including schematic models, realistic Shell Model and mean field approaches. The results are contrasted with experimental data with the goal of establishing clear signals for the existence of neutron-proton ($np$) condensates. We will show that there is clear evidence for an isovector $np$ condensate as expected from isospin invariance. However, and contrary to early expectations, a condensate of deuteron-like pairs appears quite elusive and pairing collectivity in the $T=0$ channel may only show in the form of a phonon. Arguments are presented for the use of direct reactions, adding or removing an $np$ pair, as the most promising tool to provide a definite answer to this intriguing question.

Abstract:
Neutron-proton (np-) pairing is expected to play an important role in the N Z nuclei. In general, it can have isovector and isoscalar character. The existence of isovector np-pairing is well established. On the contrary, it is still debated whether there is an isoscalar np-pairing. The review of the situation with these two types of pairing with special emphasis on the isoscalar one is presented. It is concluded that there are no substantial evidences for the existence of isoscalar np-pairing.