Computational Atomic Structures Toward Heavy Element Research

Abstract: We are interested in complex electronic structures of various atomic and ionics systems. We use an ab initioapproach, the multiconfigurational Dirac-Hartree-Fock (MCDHF), to compute atomic structures and properties.We contribute in three main ways to the already existent literature: by developing and implementing originalcomputer programs, by investigating possibilities of alternative computational methodologies and strategies, andfinally by performing accurate atomic structure calculations to support other research fields, i.e., nuclear physics,astrophysics or experimental physics, through the theoretical estimation of relevant atomic data.We raise questions about the choice of the optimal orbital basis by considering finite basis sets, MCDHF orbitalbases and natural-orbital bases. We demonstrate the promising potential of the latter in the context of hyperfinestructures and hope that others will find interest in pursuing our analysis. Ultimately, our work put forward someweaknesses of the traditional optimization strategy based on the layer-by-layer optimization strategy.We also perform large-scale calculations to determine accurate atomic properties such as energy levels, hyperfinestructures, isotope shifts, transition parameters, radiative lifetimes and Landé g factors. We show through thevariety of atomic properties and atomic systems studied, the difficulty of describing, in the relativistic framework,the correlation between the spatial position of electrons due to their Coulomb repulsion.This thesis is organized in two main parts. The first one is dedicated to the theoretical and computationalbackgrounds that are needed to understand the theoretical models and the interpretation of our results. Thesecond part presents and summarizes our articles and manuscripts. They are separated in four groups, A, B, C,and D, around the themes of the atomic orbital bases, the applications to nuclear physics, the applications toastrophysics, and investigations of negative ions.

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