Abstract:
We analyse the temperature dependence of pairing correlations in the inner crust matter of neutron stars. The study is done in a finite-temperature HFB approach and by using a zero range pairing force adjusted to the pairing properties of infinite neutron matter. Within the same approach we investigate how the specific heat of the inner crust depends on temperature, matter inhomogeneity, and the assumption used for the pairing force. It is shown that in a physical relevant range of densities the pairing properties of inner crust matter depend significantly on temperature. The finite-temperature HFB calculations show also that the specific heat is rather sensitive to the presence of nuclear clusters inside the inner crust. However, the most dramatic change of the specific heat is determined by the scenario used for the neutron matter superfluidity.

Abstract:
Low-energy spectra of 4$n$ nuclei are described with high accuracy in terms of four-body correlated structures ("quartets"). The states of all $N\geq Z$ nuclei belonging to the $A=24$ isobaric chain are represented as a superposition of two-quartet states, with quartets being characterized by isospin $T$ and angular momentum $J$. These quartets are assumed to be those describing the lowest states in $^{20}$Ne ($T_z$=0), $^{20}$F ($T_z$=1) and $^{20}$O ($T_z$=2). We find that the spectrum of the self-conjugate nucleus $^{24}$Mg can be well reproduced in terms of $T$=0 quartets only and that, among these, the $J$=0 quartet plays by far the leading role in the structure of the ground state. The same conclusion is drawn in the case of the three-quartet $N=Z$ nucleus $^{28}$Si. As an application of the quartet formalism to nuclei not confined to the $sd$ shell, we provide a description of the low-lying spectrum of the proton-rich $^{92}$Pd. The results achieved indicate that, in 4$n$ nuclei, four-body degrees of freedom are more important and more general than usually expected.

Abstract:
The ground state correlations induced by a general pairing Hamiltonian in a finite system of like fermions are described in terms of four-body correlated structures (quartets). These are real superpositions of products of two pairs of particles in time-reversed states. Quartets are determined variationally through an iterative sequence of diagonalizations of the Hamiltonian in restricted model spaces and are, in principle, all distinct from one another. The ground state is represented as a product of quartets to which, depending on the number of particles (supposed to be even, in any case), an extra collective pair is added. The extra pair is also determined variationally. In case of pairing in a spherically symmetric mean field, both the quartets and the extra pair (if any) are characterized by a total angular momentum J=0. Realistic applications of the quartet formalism are carried out for the Sn isotopes with the valence neutrons in the 50-82 neutron shell. Exact ground state correlation energies, occupation numbers and pair transfer matrix elements are reproduced to a very high degree of precision. The formalism also lends itself to a straightforward and accurate description of the lowest seniority 0 and 2 excited states of the pairing Hamiltonian. A simplified representation of the ground state as a product of identical quartets is eventually discussed and found to improve considerably upon the more traditional particle-number projected-BCS approach.

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:
We describe the use of the Density Matrix Renormalization Group method as a means of approximately solving large-scale nuclear shell-model problems. We focus on an angular-momentum-conserving variant of the method and report test results for the nucleus $^{48}Cr$. The calculation is able to reproduce both the ground state energy and the energy of the first excited state, by diagonalizing matrices much smaller than those of the full shell model.

Abstract:
We analyze the role of maximally aligned isoscalar pairs in heavy $N=Z$ nuclei by employing a formalism of quartets. Quartets are superpositions of two neutrons and two protons coupled to total isospin $T=0$ and given $J$. The study is focused on the contribution of spin-aligned pairs carrying the angular momentum $J=9$ to the structure of $^{96}$Cd and $^{92}$Pd. We show that the role played by the $J=9$ pairs is quite sensitive to the model space and, in particular, it decreases considerably by passing from the simple $0g_{9/2}$ space to the more complete $1p_{1/2}$,$1p_{3/2}$,$0f_{5/2}$,$0g_{9/2}$ space. In the latter case the description of these nuclei in terms of only spin-aligned $J=9$ pairs turns out to be unsatisfactory while an important contribution, particularly in the ground state, is seen to arise from isovector $J=0$ and isoscalar $J=1$ pairs. Thus, contrary to previous studies, we find no compelling evidence of a spin-aligned pairing phase in $^{92}$Pd.

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:
We analyze the accuracy of BCS-based approximations for calculating correlation energies and odd-even energy differences in 2-component fermionic systems with a small number of pairs. The analysis is focused on comparing BCS and projected BCS treatments with the exact solution of the pairing Hamiltonian, considering parameter ranges appropriate for nuclear pairing energies. We find that the projected BCS is quite accurate over the entire range of coupling strengths in spaces of up to about 20 doubly degenerate orbitals. It is also quite accurate for two cases we considered with a more realistic Hamiltonian, representing the nuclei around 117Sn and 207Pb. However, the projected BCS significantly underestimates the energies for much larger spaces when the pairing is weak.

Abstract:
With realistic HFB calculations, using the D1S Gogny force, we reveal a generic behavior of concentration of small sized Cooper pairs (2-3 fm) in the surface of superfluid nuclei. This study confirms and extends previous results given in the literature that use more schematic approaches.