Abstract:
We summarize our recent efforts to develop the Density Matrix Renormalization Group (DMRG) method into a practical truncation strategy for large-scale nuclear shell model calculations. Following an overview of the essential features of the DMRG, we discuss the changes we have implemented for its use in nuclei. In particular, we have found it useful to develop an angular-momentum conserving variant of the method (the JDMRG). We then summarize the principal results we have obtained to date, first reporting test results for $^{48}$Cr and then more recent test results for $^{56}$Ni. In both cases we consider nucleons limited to the 2p-1f shell. While both calculations produce a high level of agreement with the exact shell model results, the fraction of the complete space required to achieve this high level of agreement is found to go down rapidly as the size of the full space grows.

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:
Neutron-proton pairing correlations are studied within the context of two solvable models, one based on the algebra SO(5) and the other on the algebra SO(8). Boson-mapping techniques are applied to these models and shown to provide a convenient methodological tool both for solving such problems and for gaining useful insight into general features of pairing. We first focus on the SO(5) model, which involves generalized T=1 pairing. Neither boson mean-field methods nor fermion-pair approximations are able to describe in detail neutron-proton pairing in this model. The analysis suggests, however, that the boson Hamiltonian obtained from a mapping of the fermion Hamiltonian contains a pairing force between bosons, pointing to the importance of boson-boson (or equivalently four-fermion) correlations with isospin T=0 and spin S=0. These correlations are investigated by carrying out a second boson mapping. Closed forms for the fermion wave functions are given in terms of the fermion-pair operators. Similar techniques are applied -- albeit in less detail -- to the SO(8) model, involving a competition between T=1 and T=0 pairing. Conclusions similar to those of the SO(5) analysis are reached regarding the importance of four-particle correlations in systems involving neutron-proton pairing.

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 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 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 study the structure of nucleon pairs within a simple model consisting of a square well in three dimensions and a delta-function residual interaction between two weakly-bound particles at the Fermi surface. We include the continuum by enclosing the entire system in a large spherical box. To a good approximation, the continuum can be replaced by a small set of optimally-determined resonance states, suggesting that in many nuclei far from stability it may be possible to incorporate continuum effects within traditional shell-model based approximations.

Abstract:
The use of exactly-solvable Richardson-Gaudin (R-G) models to describe the physics of systems with strong pair correlations is reviewed. We begin with a brief discussion of Richardson's early work, which demonstrated the exact solvability of the pure pairing model, and then show how that work has evolved recently into a much richer class of exactly-solvable models. We then show how the Richardson solution leads naturally to an exact analogy between such quantum models and classical electrostatic problems in two dimensions. This is then used to demonstrate formally how BCS theory emerges as the large-N limit of the pure pairing Hamiltonian and is followed by several applications to problems of relevance to condensed matter physics, nuclear physics and the physics of confined systems. Some of the interesting effects that are discussed in the context of these exactly-solvable models include: (1) the crossover from superconductivity to a fluctuation-dominated regime in small metallic grains, (2) the role of the nucleon Pauli principle in suppressing the effects of high spin bosons in interacting boson models of nuclei, and (3) the possibility of fragmentation in confined boson systems. Interesting insight is also provided into the origin of the superconducting phase transition both in two-dimensional electronic systems and in atomic nuclei, based on the electrostatic image of the corresponding exactly-solvable quantum pairing models.

Abstract:
A recent analysis of experimental energy systematics suggests that all collective nuclei fall into one of three classes -- seniority, anharmonic vibrational, or rotational -- with sharp phase transitions between them. We investigate the transition from the seniority to the anharmonic vibrator regime within a shell model framework involving a single large j-orbit. The calculations qualitatively reproduce the observed transitional behavior, both for U(5) like and O(6) like nuclei. They also confirm the preeminent role played by the neutron-proton interaction in producing the phase transition.