Maria Piarulli

Associate Professor of Physics
PHD, Old Dominion University
research interests:
  • Theoretical Nuclear Physics
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    contact info:

    mailing address:

    • Washington University
    • MSC 1105-109-03
    • One Brookings Drive
    • St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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    Maria Piarulli is mainly focused on ab-initio studies of structure and reactions of atomic nuclei and nucleonic matter equation of state.

    Atomic nuclei are complex quantum many-body system displaying interesting properties, which include the emergent phenomena of shell structure, pairing and superfluidity, deformation, and strong clustering. Their structure and scattering by electrons and neutrinos are at the forefront of the nuclear physics and high-energy physics in both domestic and worldwide research programs. Leading experiments at several major facilities probe the complex interactions that govern the atomic nucleus and the fundamental properties of neutrinos as governed by the electroweak interaction.

    Our research activity is mainly focused on the development of nuclear interactions and electroweak currents based on chiral effective field theory approaches and on their implementation in Quantum Monte Carlo methods to study the structure and reactions of atomic nuclei and the equation of state of infinite nuclear matter.

    Piarulli completed her undergraduate and master degrees in physics from University of Pisa in Italy. She obtained her doctorate from Old Dominion University under the supervision of Prof. Rocco Schiavilla. Prior to her arrival at Washington University, Piarulli was a postdoctoral fellow in the theory group at Argonne National Laboratory.

    recent courses

    Introduction to Quantum Physics II (Physics 318)

    Application of quantum principles to atomic and molecular physics, solid-state physics, and nuclear and particle physics.

      Introduction to Quantum Physics (Physics 217)

      An introduction to quantum theory, as formulated in the 1920's and 1930's by Born, Bohr, Schrödinger, Heisenberg, and others.Particular emphasis will be devoted to the failure of classical physics, the Bohr theory of the atom, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, the Schrödinger equation, and the atomic and molecular structure. The course will also provide a set of mathematical tools necessary to formulate problems in quantum mechanics, introducing methods of theoretical physics required to solve them as needed.


        Selected Publications

        Muon capture on deuteron and 3He
        L. E. Marcucci, M. Piarulli, M. Viviani, L. Girlanda, A. Kievsky, S. Rosati and R. Schiavilla, Phys. Rev. C 83 , 014002  (2011)

        Muon capture on light nuclei
        L. E. Marcucci and M. Piarulli, Few Body Syst. 49 , 35  (2011)

        Electromagnetic structure of A=2 and 3 nuclei in chiral effective field theory
        M. Piarulli, L. Girlanda, L. E. Marcucci, S. Pastore, R. Schiavilla and M. Viviani, Phys. Rev. C 87 , 014006  (2013)

        Minimally nonlocal nucleon-nucleon potentials with chiral two-pion exchange including Delta-resonances
        M. Piarulli, L. Girlanda, R. Schiavilla, R. Navarro Pérez, J. E. Amaro, and E. Ruiz Arriola, Phys. Rev. C 91 , 024003  (2015)

        Electromagnetic Structure of Few-Nucleon Ground States
        L. E. Marcucci, F. Gross, M. T. Peña, M. Piarulli, R. Schiavilla, I. Sick, A. Stadler, J. W. Van Orden, and M. Viviani, J. Phys. G: Nucl. Part. Phys. 43 023002  (2016)

        Local chiral potentials and the structure of light nuclei
        M. Piarulli, L. Girlanda, R. Schiavilla, A. Kievsky, A. Lovato, L. E. Marcucci, S. Pieper, M. Viviani, and R. Wiringa, Phys. Rev. C 94 , 054007  (2016)

        Light-nuclei spectra from chiral dynamics
        M. Piarulli, A. Baroni, L. Girlanda, A. Kievsky, A. Lovato, Ewing Lusk, L.E. Marcucci, Steven C. Pieper, R. Schiavilla, M. Viviani, and R.B. Wiringa, Phys. Rev. Lett. 120 , 052503  (2018)