Amy Lovell

  • Program Year: 3
  • Academic Institution: Michigan State University
  • Field of Study: Theoretical Nuclear Physics
  • Academic Advisor: Filomena Nunes
  • Practicum(s):
    Los Alamos National Laboratory (2017)
  • Degree(s):
    B.S. Mathematical Sciences, and B.S. Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 2013

Summary of Research

My research, in low energy nuclear physics, has two parts: three-body calculations and uncertainty quantification. The first focus of my research is on the two-neutron decay of neutron-rich nuclei. A recent experiment at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory at Michigan State University found evidence of the decay of 16Be to 14Be via the emission of two neutrons, but there was controversy over whether these two neutrons were correlated as they decayed. Using a three-body model (14Be + n + n), we are reproducing this system with the ultimate aim of determining observables that will give a more clear-cut picture of the decay mode.

The other focus of my research is quantifying uncertainties in reaction theories. Currently, only rough estimates are used to determine these errors, and these estimations typically reflect the difference between models rather than the uncertainties coming from the models themselves, their inputs, or the fitting method. Often when reaction cross sections are calculated, one uses potentials that have been fitted to experimental data. However, these fits are not perfect, and the potential effects of changes to these fits has not been quantified systematically. Our goal is to do just that, as well as develop an uncertainty quantification method that does not depend on fitting and can be extrapolated from well-known nuclear systems to exotic systems.


Systematic uncertainties in direct reaction theory, A E Lovell and F M Nunes, J. Phys. G: Nucl. Part. Phys., 42 034014 (2015)
Two neutron decay of 16Be, A E Lovell, F M Nunes, and I J Thompson, EPJ Web of Conferences 113 06015 (2016)
One-nucleon transfer reactions and the optical potential, F M Nunes, et. al., arXiv:1509.04700v1 [nucl-th] 15 Sept 2015
Three-body model for the two-neutron decay of 16Be, A E Lovell, F M Nunes, and I J Thompson, Phys. Rev. C 95, 034605 (2017)
Uncertainty Quantification for Optical Model Parameters, A E Lovell, F M Nunes, J Sarich, and S M Wild, Phys. Rev. C 95, 024611 (2017)
Energy dependence of nonlocal optical potentials, A E Lovell, P-L Bacq, P Capel, F M Nunes, and L J Titus, Phys. Rev. C 96, 051601(R) (2017)
Constraining Transfer Cross Sections Using Bayes' Theorem, A E Lovell and F M Nunes, in preparation
Extracting hydrocarbon from shale: An investigation of the factors that influence the decline or tail of the production curve, A E Lovell, S Srinivasan, S Karra, D O'Malley, N Makedonska, H S Viswanathan, G Srinivasan, J W Carey, and L P Frash, submitted to Water Resources Research


Rensselaer Presidential Scholars' Program
Rensselaer Founders Award of Excellence
Sigma Pi Sigma
G. Howard Carragan Award for Outstanding Scholarship
MSU University Distinguished Fellowship
NSCL Graduate Fellowship