Abstract:
We discuss the concept of Cooper pair in the context of recent experimental studies of radio-frequency excitations in ultracold atomic gases. We argue that the threshold energy determines the size of the Cooper pair emergent from the exact solution of the reduced BCS problem, and elaborate on the physical distinction between bosonic and fermionic Cooper pairs.

Abstract:
The exact solution of the BCS pairing Hamiltonian was found by Richardson in 1963. While little attention was paid to this exactly solvable model in the remainder of the 20th century, there was a burst of work at the beginning of this century focusing on its applications in different areas of quantum physics. We review the history of this exact solution and discuss recent developments related to the Richardson-Gaudin class of integrable models, focussing on the role of these various models in nuclear physics.

Abstract:
Following a brief reminder of how the pairing model can be solved exactly, we describe how this can be used to address two interesting issues in nuclear structure physics. One concerns the mechanism for realizing superconductivity in finite nuclei and the other concerns the role of the nucleon Pauli principle in producing $sd$ dominance in interacting boson models of nuclei.

Abstract:
Recently, the nature of Cooper pairs in the BCS-BEC crossover has regained attention due to the observation of a large fraction of preformed fermion pairs on the BCS side of the Feshbach resonance in ultracold atomic Fermi gases. While several theoretical explanations were proposed, the interpretations are still controversial. The root of the controversy is understanding what represents a Cooper pair in a correlated Fermi system. This paper discusses these issues at the most elementary level.

Abstract:
Based on Richardson's exact solution of the pairing model and the Gaudin model for spin systems we derive a new class of exactly solvable models for finite boson system. As an example we solve a particular hamiltonian which displays a transition to a fragmented condensate for repulsive pairing interactions.

Abstract:
A new approach to large-scale nuclear structure calculations, based on the Density Matrix Renormalization Group (DMRG), is described. The method is tested in the context of a problem involving many identical nucleons constrained to move in a single large-j shell and interacting via a pairing plus quadrupole interaction. In cases in which exact diagonalization of the hamiltonian is possible, the method is able to reproduce the exact results for the ground state energy and the energies of low-lying excited states with extreme precision. Results are also presented for a model problem in which exact solution is not feasible.

Abstract:
We study the properties of ultrasmall metallic grains with sizes in the range of 20 up to 400 electrons. Using a particle-hole version of the DMRG method we compute condensation energies, spectroscopic gaps, pairing parameters and particle-hole probabilities of the ground state wave function. The results presented in this paper confirm that the bulk superconducting regime (large grains) and the fluctuation dominated regime (small grains) are qualitative different, but show that the crossover between them is very smooth with no signs of critical level spacings separating them. We compare our DMRG results with the exact ones obtained with the Richardson solution finding complete agreement. We also propose a simplified version of the DMRG wave function, called the Particle-Hole BCS ansatz, which agrees qualitatively with the DMRG solution and illustrates what is lacking in the PBCS wave function in order to describe correctly the crossover. Finally we present a new recursive method to compute norms and expectation values with the PBCS wave function.

Abstract:
We introduce an exactly solvable model for interacting bosons that extend up to high spin and interact through a repulsive pairing force. The model exhibits a phase transition to a state with almost complete $sd$ dominance. The repulsive pairing interaction that underlies the model has a natural microscopic origin in the Pauli exclusion principle between contituent nucleons. As such, repulsive pairing between bosons seems to provide a new mechanism for the enhancement of $sd$ dominance, giving further support for the validity of the $sd$ Interacting Boson Model.

Abstract:
We apply the DMRG method to the BCS pairing Hamiltonian which describes ultrasmall superconducting grains. Our version of the DMRG uses the particle (hole) states around the Fermi level as the system block (environment). We observe a smooth logarithmic-like crossover between the few electron regime and the BCS-bulk regime.

Abstract:
The Lipkin-Meshkov-Glick (LMG) model has a Schwinger boson realization in terms of a two-level boson pairing Hamiltonian. Through this realization, it has been shown that the LMG model is a particular case of the SU (1, 1) Richardson-Gaudin (RG) integrable models. We exploit the exact solvability of the model tostudy the behavior of the spectral parameters (pairons) that completely determine the wave function in the different phases, and across the phase transitions. Based on the relation between the Richardson equations and the Lam\'e differential equations we develop a method to obtain numerically the pairons. The dynamics of pairons in the ground and excited states provides new insights into the first, second and third order phase transitions, as well as into the crossings taking place in the LMG spectrum.