Chiral uncertainties in ab initio elastic nucleon-nucleus scattering

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ab initio optical potential, chiral nucleon-nucleon interaction, elastic nucleon-nucleus scattering, multiple scattering expansion, truncation uncertainty quantification


The effective interaction between a nucleon and a nucleus is one of the most important ingredients for reaction theories. Theoretical formulations were introduced early by Feshbach and Watson, and efforts of deriving and computing those ‘optical potentials’ in a microscopic fashion have a long tradition. However, only recently the leading order term in the Watson multiple scattering approach could be calculated fully ab initio, meaning that the same nucleon-nucleon (NN) interaction enters both the structure as well as the reaction pieces on equal footing. This allows the uncertainties from the underlying chiral effective NN interaction to be systematically explored in nucleon-nucleus elastic scattering observables. In this contribution the main ingredients for arriving at the ab initio leading order of the effective nucleon-nucleus interaction in the Watson approach will be reviewed. Concentrating on one specific chiral NN interaction from the LENPIC collaboration and light nuclei with a 0+ ground state, the leading order nucleon-nucleus interaction is calculated using up to the third chiral order (N2LO) in the nucleon-nucleon potential, and elastic scattering observables are extracted. Then pointwise as well as correlated uncertainty quantification is used for the estimation of the chiral truncation error. Elastic scattering observables for 4He, 12C, and 16O for between 65 and 200 MeV projectile energy will be analyzed.