Abstract:
We propose a new approach for the treatment of isovector pairing in self-consistent mean field calculations which conserves exactly the isospin and the particle number in the pairing channel. The mean field is generated by a Skyrme-HF functional while the isovector pairing correlations are described in terms of quartets formed by two neutrons and two protons coupled to the total isospin T=0. In this framework we analyse the contribution of isovector pairing to the symmetry and Wigner energies. It is shown that the isovector pairing provides a good description of the Wigner energy, which is not the case for the mean field calculations in which the isovector pairing is treated by BCS-like models.

Abstract:
Isoscalar (T=0,J=1) and isovector (T=1,J=0) pairing correlations in the ground state of self-conjugate nuclei are treated in terms of alpha-like quartets built by two protons and two neutrons coupled to total isospin T=0 and total angular momentum J=0. Quartets are constructed dynamically via an iterative variational procedure and the ground state is represented as a product of such quartets. It is shown that the quartet formalism describes accurately the ground state energies of realistic isovector plus isoscalar pairing Hamiltonians in nuclei with valence particles outside the 16O, 40Ca and 100Sn cores. Within the quartet formalism we analyse the competition between isovector and isoscalar pairing correlations and find that for nuclei with the valence nucleons above the cores 40Ca and 100Sn the isovector correlations account for the largest fraction of the total pairing correlations. This is not the case for sd-shell nuclei for which isoscalar correlations prevail. Contrary to many mean-field studies, isovector and isoscalar pairing correlations mix significantly in the quartet approach.

Abstract:
We discuss the treatment of isovector pairing by an alpha-like quartet condensate which conserves exactly the particle number, the spin and the isospin. The results show that the quartet condensate describes accurately the isovector pairing correlations in the ground state of systems with an equal number of protons and neutrons

Abstract:
We propose a simple quartet condensation model (QCM) which describes with very high accuracy the isovector pairing correlations in self-conjugate nuclei. The quartets have an alpha-like structure and are formed by collective isovector pairs. The accuracy of the QCM is tested for N=Z nuclei for which exact shell model diagonalizations can be performed. The calculations are done with two isovector pairing forces, one extracted from standard shell model interactions and the other of seniority type, acting, respectively, upon spherical and axially-deformed single-particle states. It is shown that for all calculated nuclei the QCM gives very accurate values for the pairing correlations energies, with errors which do not exceed 1%. These results show clearly that the correlations induced by the isovector pairing in self-conjugate nuclei are of quartet type and also indicate that QCM is the proper tool to calculate the isovector proton-neutron correlations in mean field pairing models.

Abstract:
A model combining self-consistent mean-field and shell-model techniques is used to study the competition between particle like and proton-neutron pairing correlations in fp-shell even-even self-conjugate nuclei. Results obtained using constant two-body pairing interactions as well as more sophisticated interactions are presented and discussed. The standard BCS calculations are systematically compared with more refined approaches including correlation effects beyond the independent quasi-particle approach. The competition between proton-neutron correlations in the isoscalar and isovector channels is also analyzed, as well as their dependence on the deformation properties. Besides the expected role of the spin-orbit interaction and particle number conservation, it is shown that deformation leads to a reduction of the pairing correlations. This reduction originates from the change of the single-particle spectrum and from a quenching of the residual pairing matrix elements. The competition between isoscalar and isovector pairing in the deuteron transfer is finally addressed. Although a strong dependence the isovector pairing correlations with respect to nuclear deformation is observed, they always dominate over the isoscalar ones.

Abstract:
We describe the ground state of the isovector pairing Hamiltonian in self-conjugate nuclei by a product of collective quartets of different structure built from two neutrons and two protons coupled to total isospin T=0. The structure of the collective quartets is determined by an iterative variational procedure based on a sequence of diagonalizations of the pairing Hamiltonian in spaces of reduced size. The accuracy of the quartet model is tested for N=Z nuclei carrying valence nucleons outside the $^{16}$O, $^{40}$Ca, and $^{100}$Sn cores. The comparison with the exact solutions of the pairing Hamiltonian, obtained by shell model diagonalization, shows that the quartet model is able to describe the isovector pairing energy with very high precision. The predictions of the quartet model are also compared to those of the simpler quartet condensation model in which all the collective quartets are assumed to be identical.

Abstract:
The isoscalar proton-neutron pairing and isovector pairing, including both isovector proton-neutron pairing and like-particle pairing, are treated in a formalism which conserves exactly the particle number and the isospin. The formalism is designed for self-conjugate (N=Z) systems of nucleons moving in axially deformed mean fields and interacting through the most general isovector and isoscalar pairing interactions. The ground state of these systems is described by a superposition of two types of condensates, i.e., condensates of isovector quartets, built by two isovector pairs coupled to the total isospin T=0, and condensates of isoscalar proton-neutron pairs. The comparison with the exact solutions of realistic isovector-isoscalar pairing Hamiltonians shows that this ansatz for the ground state is able to describe with high precision the pairing correlation energies. It is also shown that, at variance with the majority of Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov calculations, in the present formalism the isovector and isoscalar pairing correlations coexist for any pairing interactions. The competition between the isovector and isoscalar proton-neutron pairing correlations is studied for N=Z nuclei with the valence nucleons moving in the $sd$ and $pf$ shells and in the major shell above $^{100}$Sn. We find that in these nuclei the isovector pairing prevail over the isoscalar pairing, especially for heavier nuclei. However, the isoscalar proton-neutron correlations are significant in all nuclei and they always coexist with the isovector pairing correlations.

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:
We analyze the effect of pairing on particle transport in time-dependent theories based on the Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov (HFB) or BCS approximations. The equations of motion for the HFB density matrices are unique and the theory respects the usual conservation laws defined by commutators of the conserved quantity with the Hamiltonian. In contrast, the theories based on the BCS approximation are more problematic. In the usual formulation of TDHF+BCS, the equation of continuity is violated and one sees unphysical oscillations in particle densities. This can be ameliorated by freezing the occupation numbers during the evolution in TDHF+BCS, but there are other problems with the BCS that make it doubtful for reaction dynamics. We also compare different numerical implementations of the time-dependent HFB equations. The equations of motion for the $U$ and $V$ Bogoliubov transformations are not unique, but it appears that the usual formulation is also the most efficient. Finally, we compare the time-dependent HFB solutions with numerically exact solutions of the two-particle Schrodinger equation. Depending on the treatment of the initial state, the HFB dynamics produces a particle emission rate at short times similar to that of the Schrodinger equation. At long times, the total particle emission can be quite different, due to inherent mean-field approximation of the HFB theory.

Abstract:
The influence of particle-phonon coupling on pairing correlations in nuclei is studied by solving the Dyson equation including the anomalous (pairing) Green function. We develop the formalism for solving the equation with the minimum of approximations. The solution of the Dyson equation is compared with the diagonalization of particle-phonon coupled Hamiltonian in a small space. This comparison reveals that the effect of many-phonon states is incorporated in the Dyson equation. We calculate the pairing gap of the neutron in 120Sn. We compare analytically the present method with a simpler treatment based on Bloch-Horowitz perturbation theory.