Collectivity in Heavy Nuclei in the Shell Model Monte Carlo Approach
The microscopic description of collectivity in heavy nuclei in the framework of the configuration-interaction shell model has been a major challenge. The size of the model space required for the description of heavy nuclei prohibits the use of conventional diagonalization methods. We have overcome this difficulty by using the shell model Monte Carlo (SMMC) method which can treat model spaces that are many orders of magnitude larger than those that can be treated by conventional methods. We identify a thermal observable that can distinguish between vibrational and rotational collectivity and use it to describe the crossover from vibrational to rotational collectivity in families of even-even rare-earth isotopes. We calculate the state densities in these nuclei and find them to be in close agreement with experimental data. We also calculate the collective enhancement factors of the corresponding level densities and find that their decay with excitation energy is correlated with the pairing and shape phase transitions.