Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Nicolas Schunck

Research Staff
Nuclear and Chemical Sciences Division

 +1 925-422-1621

PhD Nuclear theory
University of Strasbourg
MS Nuclear physics
University of Strasbourg
BS Physics
University of Strasbourg


After receiving his PhD, Nicolas Schunck was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Surrey, UK (2002–2004), the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain (2005–2007), and the University of Tennessee, US (2007–2010). He was also visiting scientist at the Niels Bohr Institute in Denmark (2004), the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Kraków, Poland, and the Institute of Theoretical Physics in Warsaw, Poland (2005).

Research Interests

Schunck’s interests are centered on the development and implementation of theoretical methods to describe the structure and decay of heavy atomic nuclei. Most of his work involves research in nuclear density functional theory and its applications, in particular as they pertain to a fundamental description of nuclear fission. Nicolas currently manages the Fission In R-process Elements (FIRE) topical collaboration in nuclear theory. FIRE assembles experts in nucleosynthesis simulations and nuclear properties from five different institutions and aims at better understanding where and how heavy elements are formed in the universe.

Schunck is active in the development of computational nuclear theory and has more than a decade of experience in high-performance computing applications on leadership class computers. In particular, he is leading the development of the density functional theory for nuclei at extreme scale (DFTNESS) computational framework based on the HFBTHO and HFODD computer programs. Schunck has a large network of collaborations, both within the US, notably with Michigan State University (MSU), Institute for Nuclear Theory (INT), and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), and throughout the world, in particular the CEA et Bruyères-le-Châtel (France), the UAM (Spain), and VECC Kolkata (India).

Awards and Honors

  • Principal Investigator (PI): FIRE Topical Collaboration in Nuclear Theory, 2016–2021.
  • Lead organizer: INT program on Bayesian Methods in Nuclear Physics, 2016.
  • Teacher: FIESTA 2017 summer school in “Fission Experiments and Theoretical Advances,” Santa Fe, NM, USA; at the TALENT summer school in “Nuclear Density Functional Theory and Self-Consistent Methods,” 2014 ECT* Trento (Italy) and 2016 York (UK); at the “Exotic Beam Summer School 2012,” Argonne National Laboratory.
  • Member: APS, 2010–present.
  • Panelist: DOE/SC/NP “Forefront Questions in Nuclear Science and the Role of High Performance Computing,” 2009; “Requirements Review for Nuclear Physics,” 2016.

Selected Publications

D. Regnier, M. Verrière, N. Dubray, and N. Schunck, FELIX-2.0: New version of the finite element solver for the time dependent generator coordinate method with the Gaussian overlap approximation, Comput. Phys. Commun. 225, 180 (2018).

R. Navarro Perez, N. Schunck, R.D. Lasseri, C. Zhang, and J. Sarich, Axially deformed solution of the Skyrme–Hartree–Fock–Bogolyubov equations using the transformed harmonic oscillator basis (III) HFBTHO (v3.00): A new version of the program, Comput. Phys. Commun. 220, 363 (2017).

N. Schunck, J. Dobaczewski, W. Satuła, P. Bączyk, J. Dudek, Y. Gao, M. Konieczka, K. Sato, Y. Shi, X.B. Wang, and T.R. Werner, Solution of the Skyrme-Hartree–Fock–Bogolyubov equations in the Cartesian deformed harmonic oscillator basis. (VIII) HFODD (v2.73y): A new version of the program, Comput. Phys. Commun. 216, 145 (2017).

D. Regnier, N. Dubray, N. Schunck, and M. Verrière, Fission fragment charge and mass distributions in 239Pu(n,f) in the adiabatic nuclear energy density functional theory, Phys. Rev. C 93, 054611 (2016).

J. Sadhukhan, W. Nazarewicz, and N. Schunck, Microscopic modeling of mass and charge distributions in the spontaneous fission of 240Pu, Phys. Rev. C 93, 011304(R), (2016).

N. Schunck and L.M. Robledo, Microscopic Theory of Nuclear Fission: A Review, Rep. Prog. Phys. 79, 116301 (2016).

J.D. McDonnell, N. Schunck, D. Higdon, J. Sarich, S.M. Wild, and W. Nazarewicz, Uncertainty Quantification for Nuclear Density Functional Theory and Information Content of New Measurements, Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 122501 (2015).

N. Schunck, D. Duke, H. Carr, Description of Induced Nuclear Fission with Skyrme Energy Functionals: II Finite Temperature Effects, Phys. Rev. C 91, 034327 (2015).

N. Schunck, J. D. McDonnell, J. Sarich, S. M. Wild, D. Higdon, Uncertainty Quantification and Propagation in Nuclear Density Functional Theory, Eur. Phys. J. A 51, 1 (2015).

M. Kortelainen, J. McDonnell, W. Nazarewicz, E. Olsen, P.-G. Reinhard, J. Sarich, N. Schunck, S.M. Wild, D. Davesne, J. Erler, and A. Pastore, Nuclear Energy Density Optimization: Shell Structure, Phys. Rev. C 89, 054314 (2014).

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