Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

First of all, note the qualifier "residual". The present question is not the same as that asked, and answered, in the StackExchange question "Is there an equation for the strong nuclear force?" which was really addressed as though it asked "Is there an equation for the strong interaction between quarks?"

If there is no such equation, is there a numeric simulation program?

share|cite|improve this question
My answer to the question you link is exactly the answer to this. The shell model that anna describes comes from numeric (and necessarily approximate) solutions to the multi body problem with a Yukawa potential. – dmckee Sep 1 '12 at 3:40

There exists the shell model which has been very successful in describing the residual strong force that holds the nucleons in the nucleus and organizes the periodic table of elements. It is based on quantum mechanical analogues.

There are other models: the liquid drop model which is an empirical way of treating the many nucleon system classically like a drop.

There even exists an effective field theory for nuclear physics .

It depends on the problem one wants to address which of these methods is appropriate.

share|cite|improve this answer

Presently, there are two ways to calculate the nuclear force, or if you prefer, the "residual" strong force, from Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD), which is the fundamental theory for strong interaction.

1) Using lattice QCD which is based on large-scale simulations performed on supercomputers. A couple of recent papers, e.g. Lattice QCD approach to Nuclear Physics by a Japanese group and Light Nuclei and Hypernuclei from Quantum Chromodynamics in the Limit of SU(3) Flavor Symmetry by a US group. These two groups are the main ones simulating the nuclear force using lattice QCD.

2) Using effective field theory, which was reviewed in, for instance, Modern Theory of Nuclear Forces. Based on the framework of effective field theory, there are also simulations of nuclei. An important example is the success of calculating the Hoyle state of the carbon nucleus.

share|cite|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.