One of the fundamental forces in nature is the strong interaction, which is responsible for (among other things) the existence of atomic nuclei. The particles that take part in the strong interaction are called hadrons. The main research theme of the Nuclear Theory Group is the study of hadrons and their aggregates such as nuclei and neutron stars. This line of study is of great interest in its own right, but its importance is further augmented by the following aspects:
- It sheds light on the relation between the hadronic phenomena and the underlying fundamental interaction among quarks, which are the basic building blocks of hadrons.
- The understanding of many astrophysical phenomena depends on our knowledge of relevant nuclear reactions.
- The experimental studies of the fundamental processes (e.g., neutrino oscillation experiments) require input from hadron and nuclear physics for their accurate interpretations.
Currently, a main thrust of our research is directed to the application of effective field theory (known as chiral perturbation theory) to nuclear systems with the view to giving accurate predictions to the cross sections for various hadronic, electromagnetic and weak-interaction processes, in particular for those which are relevant to astrophysics and/or neutrino oscillation experiments.