# Kristina Launey

#### Assistant Professor

Ph.D., 2003 - Louisiana State University

Louisiana State University

Department of Physics & Astronomy

226 Nicholson Hall, Tower Dr.

Baton Rouge, LA 70803-4001

(225) 578-0351

kristina@phys.lsu.edu

### Research Interests

#### Theoretical nuclear physics and astrophysics

My main research focuses on strong interaction physics ranging from modeling atomic
nuclei from first principles (or *"ab initio"*), through electroweak- and strong-interaction driven nuclear reactions, to further
understanding the nuclear interaction from the underlying foundation of Quantum Chromodynamics
(QCD). Indeed, how the strong force bonds protons and neutrons into a plethora of
nuclei is still not well understood, and presents a foremost challenge. The reason
is that modeling the nucleus from first principles, which holds predictive power,
is a computationally intense task and faces the difficulty, first, of strong interactions
that prohibit perturbative treatments and, second, of accounting for emergent phenomena.
Our research addresses some of these challenges by taking advantage of symmetries
that dominate the many-body nuclear dynamics, inter-nucleon interaction and its effective
counterparts in nuclear medium. It targets two overarching goals:

*Fundamentals of nuclear physics*, namely, further advancing our knowledge of the complex nuclear structure and probing fundamental properties of the inter-nucleon interaction;*Applications to nuclei-driven processes in natur*e, including nuclear structure and reactions of importance to astrophysics, neutrino physics and energy-related applied physics.

Recent studies include: no-core symplectic shell model (NCSpM) for large deformation
and alpha-cluster substructures exemplified by the challenging Hoyle state in ^{12}C; symmetry-adapted no-core shell model (SA-NCSM) for *ab initio* nuclear structure with its first reach of intermediate-mass nuclei (isotopes of Ne,
Mg, Al, and Si); spectral distribution theory (SDT) for effective interactions and
for level densities needed as input to nuclear reactions for medium-mass nuclei above
^{56}Ni; similarity renormalization group (SRG) for effective interactions; R-matrix coupled-channel
method (CCM) for nuclear reactions, such as proton-capture reactions of importance
to Ne-Na/Mg-Al chains in AGB stars and X-ray burst nucleosynthesis; electron and neutrino
scattering; exact pairing of importance to density functional theory studies; quantum
information applications with a focus on Shannon and von Neumann entropies of nuclear
systems; group-theoretical approaches involving symplectic Sp(3,R) & Sp(2) groups
and SU(3) group.

### Current and Select Publications

- A. C. Dreyfuss, K. D. Launey, T. Dytrych, J. P. Draayer, and C. Bahri, "Hoyle state
and rotational features in Carbon-12 within a no-core shell-model framework",
*Phys. Lett. B***727**(2013) 163; doi: Article. - T. Dytrych, K. D. Launey, J. P. Draayer, P. Maris, J. P. Vary, E. Saule, U. Catalyurek,
M. Sosonkina, D. Langr, and M. A. Caprio, "Collective Modes in Light Nuclei from First
Principles",
*Phys. Rev. Lett.***111**(2013) 252501; Article. - G. K. Tobin, M. C. Ferriss, K. D. Launey, T. Dytrych, J. P. Draayer, A. C. Dreyfuss,
and C. Bahri, "Symplectic No-core Shell-model Approach to Intermediate-mass Nuclei",
*Phys. Rev. C***89**(2014) 034312; Article. - K. D. Launey, S. Sarbadhicary, T. Dytrych, and J. P. Draayer, "Program in C for studying
characteristic properties of two-body interactions in the framework of spectral distribution
theory",
*Comput. Phys. Commun.***185**(2014) 254. Program: Catalogue ID AEQG_v1_0; Article. - Xin Guan, Kristina D. Launey, Jianzhong Gu, Feng Pan, and J. P. Draayer, "Level statistical
properties of the spherical mean-field plus standard pairing model",
*Phys. Rev. C***88**(2013) 044325; Article. - Tomas Dytrych, Kristina D. Launey, Jerry P. Draayer , in
*McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology 2014*, "Symmetry-adapted no-core shell model" (2014); Article.