Theses and Dissertations



Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Afanasjev, Anatoli

Committee Member

Dutta, Dipangkar

Committee Member

El Fassi, Lamiaa

Committee Member

Rupak, Gautam

Committee Member

Winger, Jeffry A.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Nuclear Physics

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Physics and Astronomy


Covariant density functional theory (CDFT) is one of the modern theoretical tools for the description of finite nuclei and neutron stars. Its performance is defined by underlying covariant energy density functionals (CEDFs) which depend on a number of parameters. Several investigations within the CDFT framework using the relativistic Hartree-Bogoliubov (RHB) approach are discussed in this dissertation.

Statistical errors in ground state observables and single-particle properties of spherical even-even nuclei and their propagation to the limits of nuclear landscape have been investigated in the covariant energy density functionals with nonlinear density dependency. The parametric correlations are studied in different classes of CEDFs; the elimination of these correlations reduces the number of independent parameters to five or six without affecting the performance of CEDFs on a global scale. Moreover, this study reveals the need to include information on deformed nuclei for the improvement of fitting protocols. A new technique for incorporating deformed nuclei data into the fitting protocol is described. Different CEDFs are optimized using this approach, resulting in a significant improvement in the nuclear mass description.

A systematic investigation of the ground state and fission properties of even-even actinides and superheavy nuclei with proton numbers Z = 90 - 120 located between the two-proton and two-neutron drip lines has been performed. These results provide a necessary theoretical input for the modeling of the nuclear astrophysical rapid neutron capture process (r-process) taking place in the mergers of neutron stars. The state-of-the-art CEDFs, namely, DD-PC1, DD-ME2, NL3*, and PC-PK1, are employed in this study. Theoretical systematic uncertainties in the physical observables and their evolution as a function of proton and neutron numbers have been quantified and their major sources have been identified.

The extension of the nuclear landscape to hyperheavy nuclei is investigated. The transition from ellipsoidal-like nuclear shapes to toroidal shapes is crucial for the potential expansion of the nuclear landscape to hyperheavy nuclei. The physical reasons for the stability of toroidal nuclei in the Z ~ 134 region are discussed.