Quantifying Uncertainties in Reaction Theory: Cross Section Confidence Calculations

Amy Lovell, Michigan State University

Photo of Amy Lovell

The popularity of uncertainty quantification within theoretical nuclear physics has risen over the last few years. Not only is it important to have sound theories, but it is equally important to have an understanding of the uncertainties that come from the model or parameterization implemented. Frequently, potentials parameters are defined by fitting to elastic scattering data. However, different fits can produce nearly identical elastic scattering, which then produce significantly different cross sections when inelastic or transfer processes are computed. Using statistical models, 95 percent confidence bands can be defined around these best-fit calculations to show how the variation in potential can influence the cross section calculations. Still, this process cannot investigate any of the uncertainties coming from the model. We can study the influence of the correlations within the model by using a correlated fitting function in the minimization process and examining the differences in the best-fit parameterization and 95 percent confidence bands.

Abstract Author(s): A. Lovell, F. Nunes, J. Sarich, S. Wild