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Journal Article

Zero-pairing limit of Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov reference states


Tichai,  A.
Division Prof. Dr. Klaus Blaum, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Duguet, T., Bally, B., & Tichai, A. (2020). Zero-pairing limit of Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov reference states. Physical Review C, 102(5): 054320. doi:10.1103/PhysRevC.102.054320.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0008-281C-D
Background: The variational Hartree-Fock-Bogoliubov (HFB) mean-field theory is the starting point of various (ab initio) many-body methods dedicated to superfluid systems. In this context, pairing correlations may be driven towards zero either on purpose via HFB calculations constrained on, e.g., the particle-number variance or simply because internucleon interactions cannot sustain pairing correlations in the first place in, e.g., closed-shell systems. While taking this limit constitutes a text-book problem when the system is of closed-shell character, it is typically, although wrongly, thought to be ill-defined whenever the naive filling of single-particle levels corresponds to an open-shell system.
Purpose: The present work demonstrates that the zero-pairing limit of an HFB state is well-defined independently of the average particle number A it is constrained to. Still, the nature of the limit state is shown to depend on the regime, i.e., on whether the nucleus characterizes as a closed-shell or an open-shell system when taking the limit. Finally, the consequences of the zero-pairing limit on Bogoliubov many-body perturbation theory (BMBPT) calculations performed on top of the HFB reference state are illustrated.
Methods: The zero-pairing limit of a HFB state constrained to carry an arbitrary (integer) number of particles A on average is worked out analytically and realized numerically using a two-nucleon interaction derived within the frame of chiral effective field theory.
Results: The zero-pairing limit of the HFB state is mathematically well-defined, independently of the closed-or open-shell character of the system in the limit. Still, the nature of the limit state strongly depends on the underlying shell structure and on the associated naive filling reached in the zero-pairing limit for the particle number A of interest. First, the textbook situation is recovered for closed-shell systems, i.e., the limit state is reached for a finite value of the pairing strength (the well-known BardeenCooperSchrieffer (BCS) collapse) and takes the form of a single Slater determinant displaying (i) zero pairing energy, (ii) nondegenerate elementary excitations, and (iii) zero particle-number variance. Contrarily, a nonstandard situation is obtained for open-shell systems, i.e., the limit state is only reached for a zero value of the pairing interaction (no BCS collapse) and takes the form of a specific finite linear combination of Slater determinants displaying (a) a nonzero pairing energy, (b) degenerate elementary excitations, and (c) a nonzero particle-number variance for which an analytical formula is derived. This nonzero particle-number variance acts as a lower bound that depends in a specific way on the number of valence nucleons and on the degeneracy of the valence shell. All these findings are confirmed and illustrated numerically. Last but not least, BMBPT calculations of closed-shell (open-shell) nuclei are shown to be well-defined (ill-defined) in the zero-pairing limit.
Conclusions: While HFB theory has been intensively scrutinized formally and numerically over the last decades, it still uncovers unknown and somewhat unexpected features. In the present paper, the zero-pairing limit of a HFB state carrying an arbitrary number of particles has been worked out and shown to lead to drastic differences and consequences depending on the closed-shell or open-shell nature of the system in that limit. From a general perspective, the present analysis demonstrates that HFB theory does not reduce to HF theory when the pairing field is driven to zero in the HFB Hamiltonian matrix.