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- Development and test of a prototype for the PANDA Barrel DIRC detector at FAIR (2014)
- The PANDA experiment at FAIR will perform world class physics studies using high-intensity cooled antiproton beams with momenta between 1.5 and 15 GeV/c. A rich physics program requires very good particle identification (PID). Charged hadron PID for the barrel section of the target spectrometer has to cover the angular range of 22-140° and separate pions from kaons for momenta up to 3.5 GeV/c with a separation power of at least 3 standard deviations. The system that will provide it has to be thin and operate in a strong magnetic field. A ring imaging Cherenkov detector using the DIRC principle meets those requirements. The design of the PANDA Barrel DIRC is based on the successful BABAR DIRC counter with several important changes to improve the performance and optimize the costs. The design options are being studied in detailed Monte Carlo simulation, and implemented in increasingly complex system prototypes and tested in particle beams. Before building the full system prototypes the radiator bars and lenses are measured on the test benches. The performance of the DIRC prototype was quantified in terms of the single photon Cherenkov angle resolution and the photon yield. Results for two full system prototypes will be presented. The prototype in 2011 aimed at investigating the full size expansion volume. It was found that the resolution for this configuration is at the level of in good agreement with ray tracing simulation results. A more complex prototype, tested in 2012, provided the first experience with a compact fused silica prism expansion volume, a wide radiator plate, and several advanced lens options for the focusing system. The performance of the baseline configuration of the prototype with a standard lens and an air gap met the requirements for the PANDA PID for most of the polar angle range but failed at polar angles around 90° due to photon loss at the air gap. Measurements with a prototype high-refractive index compound lens without an air gap at a polar angle of 128° beam angle showed a good resolution of σΘC = 11.8 ± 0.7 mrad and a high photon yield of Nph = 26.1 ± 0.4. Even at polar angles close to 90° the photon yield with this lens exceeded 15 detected photons per particle, meeting the PANDA Barrel DIRC PID requirements for the entire phase space and demonstrating that the compact focusing DIRC is a very promising option for PANDA.

- Measurement of the quasi free np → npπ+π− and np → ppπ−π0 reactions at 1.25 GeV with HADES (2014)
- We present the results of two-pion production in tagged quasi-free np collisions at a deutron incident beam energy of 1.25 GeV/c measured with the High-Acceptance Di-Electron Spectrometer (HADES) installed at GSI. The specific acceptance of HADES allowed for the first time to obtain high-precision data on π+π− and π−π0 production in np collisions in a region corresponding to large transverse momenta of the secondary particles. The obtained differential cross section data provide strong constraints on the production mechanisms and on the various baryon resonance contributions (∆∆, N(1440), N(1520), ∆(1600)). The invariant mass and angular distributions from the np → npπ+π −and np → ppπ−π0 reactions are compared with different theoretical model predictions.

- The nucleosynthesis of heavy elements in Stars: the key isotope 25Mg (2014)
- We have measured the radiative neutron-capture cross section and the total neutron-induced cross section of one of the most important isotopes for the s process, the 25Mg. The measurements have been carried out at the neutron time-of-flight facilities n_TOF at CERN (Switzerland) and GELINA installed at the EC-JRC-IRMM (Belgium). The cross sections as a function of neutron energy have been measured up to approximately 300 keV, covering the energy region of interest to the s process. The data analysis is ongoing and preliminary results show the potential relevance for the s process.

- Ab-initio simulations of pressure effects on structural and electronic properties of iron based superconductors (2014)
- The ab-initio molecular dynamics framework has been the cornerstone of computational solid state physics in the last few decades. Although it is already a mature field it is still rapidly developing to accommodate the growth in solid state research as well as to efficiently utilize the increase in computing power. Starting from the first principles, the ab-initio molecular dynamics provides essential information about structural and electronic properties of matter under various external conditions. In this thesis we use the ab-initio molecular dynamics to study the behavior of BaFe2As2 and CaFe2As2 under the application of external pressure. BaFe2As2 and CaFe2As2 belong to the family of iron based superconductors which are a novel and promising superconducting materials. The application of pressure is one of two key methods by which electronic and structural properties of iron based superconductors can be modified, the other one being doping (or chemical pressure). In particular, it has been noted that pressure conditions have an important effect, but their exact role is not fully understood. To better understand the effect of different pressure conditions we have performed a series of ab-initio simulations of pressure application. In order to apply the pressure with arbitrary stress tensor we have developed a method based on the Fast Inertial Relaxation Engine, whereby the unit cell and the atomic positions are evolved according to the metadynamical equations of motion. We have found that the application of hydrostatic and c axis uniaxial pressure induces a phase transition from the magnetically ordered orthorhombic phase to the non-magnetic collapsed tetragonal phase in both BaFe2As2 and CaFe2As2. In the case of BaFe2As2, an intermediate tetragonal non-magnetic tetragonal phase is observed in addition. Application of the uniaxial pressure parallel to the c axis reduces the critical pressure of the phase transition by an order of magnitude, in agreement with the experimental findings. The in-plane pressure application did not result in transition to the non-magnetic tetragonal phase and instead, rotation of the magnetic order direction could be observed. This is discussed in the context of Ginzburg-Landau theory. We have also found that the magnetostructural phase transition is accompanied by a change in the Fermi surface topology, whereby the hole cylinders centered around the Gamma point disappear, restricting the possible Cooper pair scattering channels in the tetragonal phase. Our calculations also permit us to estimate the bulk moduli and the orthorhombic elastic constants of BaFe2As2 and CaFe2As2. To study the electronic structure in systems with broken translational symmetry, such as doped iron based superconductors, it is necessary to develop a method to unfold the complicated bandstructures arising from the supercell calculations. In this thesis we present the unfolding method based on group theoretical techniques. We achieve the unfolding by employing induced irreducible representations of space groups. The unique feature of our method is that it treats the point group operations on an equal footing with the translations. This permits us to unfold the bandstructures beyond the limit of translation symmetry and also formulate the tight-binding models of reduced dimensionality if certain conditions are met. Inclusion of point group operations in the unfolding formalism allows us to reach important conclusions about the two versus one iron picture in iron based superconductors. And finally, we present the results of ab-initio structure prediction in the cases of giant volume collapse in MnS2 and alkaline doped picene. In the case of MnS2, a previously unobserved high pressure arsenopyrite structure of MnS2 is predicted and stability regions for the two competing metastable phases under pressure are determined. In the case of alkaline doped picene, crystal structures with different levels of doping were predicted and used to study the role of electronic correlations.

- Aspects of electron correlations in two-dimensional metals (2015)
- Landau's Fermi liquid theory has been the main tool for investigating interactions between fermions at low energies for more than 50 years. It has been successful in describing, amongst other things, the mass enhancement in ³He and the thermodynamics of a large class of metals. Whilst this in itself is remarkable given the phenomenological nature of the original theory, experiments have found several materials, such as some superconducting and heavy-fermion materials, which cannot be described within the Fermi liquid picture. Because of this, many attempts have been made to understand these ''non Fermi liquid'' phases from a theoretical perspective. This will be the broad topic of the first part of this thesis and will be investigated in Chapter 2, where we consider a two-dimensional system of electrons interacting close to a Fermi surface through a damped gapless bosonic field. Such systems are known to give rise to non Fermi liquid behaviour. In particular we will consider the Ising-nematic quantum critical point of a two-dimensional metal. At this quantum critical point the Fermi liquid theory breaks down and the fermionic self-energy acquires the non Fermi liquid like {omega}²/³ frequency dependence at lowest order and within the canonical Hertz-Millis approach to quantum criticality of interacting fermions. Previous studies have however shown that, due to the gapless nature of the electronic single-particle excitations, the exponent of 2/3 is modified by an anomalous dimension {eta_psi} which changes, not only the exponent of the frequency dependence, but also the exponent of the momentum dependence of the self-energy. These studies also show that the usual 1/N-expansion breaks down for this problem. We therefore develop an alternative approach to calculate the anomalous dimensions based on the functional renormalization group, which will be introduced in the introductory Chapter 1. Doing so we will be able to calculate both the anomalous dimension renormalizing the exponent of the frequency dependence and the exponent renormalizing the momentum dependence of the self-energy. Moreover we will see that an effective interaction between the bosonic fields, mediated by the fermions, is crucial in order to obtain these renormalizations. In the second part of this thesis, presented in Chapter 3, we return to Fermi liquid theory itself. Indeed, despite its conceptual simplicity of expressing interacting electrons through long-lived quasi-particles which behave in a similar fashion as free particles, albeit with renormalized parameters, it remains an active area of research. In particular, in order to take into account the full effects of interactions between quasi-particles, it is crucial to consider specific microscopic models. One such effect, which is not captured by the phenomenological theory itself, is the appearance of non-analytic terms in the expansions of various thermodynamic quantities such as heat-capacity and susceptibility with respect to an external magnetic field, temperature, or momentum. Such non-analyticities may have a large impact on the phase diagram of, for example, itinerant electrons near a ferromagnetic quantum phase transition. Inspired by this we consider a system of interacting electrons in a weak external magnetic field within Fermi liquid theory. For this system we calculate various quasi-particle properties such as the quasi-particle residue, momentum-renormalization factor, and a renormalization factor which relates to the self-energy on the Fermi surface. From these renormalization factors we then extract physical quantities such as the renormalized mass and renormalized electron Lande g-factor. By calculating the renormalization factors within second order perturbation theory numerically and analytically, using a phase-space decomposition, we show that all renormalization factors acquire a non-analytic term proportional to the absolute value of the magnetic field. We moreover explicitly calculate the prefactors of these terms and find that they are all universal and determined by low-energy scattering processes which we classify. We also consider the non-analytic contributions to the same renormalization factors at finite temperatures and for finite external frequencies and discuss possible experimental ways of measuring the prefactors. Specifically we find that the tunnelling density of states and the conductivity acquire a non-analytic dependence on magnetic field (and temperature) coming from the momentum-renormalization factor. For the latter we discuss how this relates to previous works which show the existence of non-analyticities in the conductivity at first order in the interaction.

- From microscopic interactions to the dynamics of the fireball (2014)
- We discuss recent applications of the partonic perturbative QCD based cascade model BAMPS with focus on heavy-ion phenomenology in the hard and soft momentum range. First, the elliptic flow and suppression of charm and bottom quarks are studied at LHC energies. Thereafter, we compare in a detailed study the standard Gunion-Bertsch approximation of the matrix elements for inelastic processes to the exact results in leading order perturbative QCD. Since a disagreement is found, we propose an improved Gunion-Bertsch matrix element, which agrees with the exact result in all phase space regions.

- Emissivity and conductivity of parton-hadron matter (2014)
- We investigate the properties of the QCD matter across the deconfinement phase transition. In the scope of the parton-hadron string dynamics (PHSD) transport approach, we study the strongly interacting matter in equilibrium as well as the out-of equilibrium dynamics of relativistic heavy-ion collisions. We present here in particular the results on the electromagnetic radiation, i.e. photon and dilepton production, in relativistic heavy-ion collisions and the relevant correlator in equilibrium, i.e. the electric conductivity. By comparing our calculations for the heavy-ion collisions to the available data, we determine the relative importance of the various production sources and address the possible origin of the observed strong elliptic flow ν2 of direct photons.

- Fusion using time-dependent density-constrained DFT (2014)
- We present results for calculating fusion cross-sections using a new microscopic approach based on a time-dependent density-constrained DFT calculations. The theory is implemented by using densities and other information obtained from TDDFT time-evolution of the nuclear system as a constraint on the density for DFT calculations.

- Decays of open charmed mesons in the extended Linear Sigma Model (2014)
- We enlarge the so-called extended linear Sigma model (eLSM) by including the charm quark according to the global U(4)r × U(4)l chiral symmetry. In the eLSM, besides scalar and pseudoscalar mesons, also vector and axial-vector mesons are present. Almost all the parameters of the model were fixed in a previous study of mesons below 2 GeV. In the extension to the four-flavor case, only three additional parameters (all of them related to the bare mass of the charm quark) appear.We compute the (OZI dominant) strong decays of open charmed mesons. The results are compatible with the experimental data, although the theoretical uncertainties are still large.

- The final stage of gravitationally collapsed thick matter layers (2013)
- In the presence of a minimal length, physical objects cannot collapse to an infinite density, singular, matter point. In this paper, we consider the possible final stage of the gravitational collapse of “thick” matter layers. The energy momentum tensor we choose to model these shell-like objects is a proper modification of the source for “noncommutative geometry inspired,” regular black holes. By using higher momenta of Gaussian distribution to localize matter at finite distance from the origin, we obtain new solutions of the Einstein equation which smoothly interpolates between Minkowski’s geometry near the center of the shell and Schwarzschild’s spacetime far away from the matter layer. The metric is curvature singularity free. Black hole type solutions exist only for “heavy” shells; that is, M >= Mρ, where Mρ is the mass of the extremal configuration. We determine the Hawking temperature and a modified area law taking into account the extended nature of the source.