Quantifying uncertainties and correlations in the nuclear-matter equation of state

C. Drischler, J. A. Melendez, R. J. Furnstahl, D. R. Phillips.


We perform statistically rigorous uncertainty quantification (UQ) for chiral effective field theory (χEFT) applied to infinite nuclear matter up to twice nuclear saturation density. The equation of state (EOS) is based on high-order many-body perturbation theory calculations with nucleon-nucleon and three-nucleon interactions up to fourth order in the χEFT expansion. From these calculations our newly developed Bayesian machine-learning approach extracts the size and smoothness properties of the correlated EFT truncation error. We then propose a novel extension that uses multitask machine learning to reveal correlations between the EOS at different proton fractions. The inferred in-medium χEFT breakdown scale in pure neutron matter and symmetric nuclear matter is consistent with that from free-space nucleon-nucleon scattering. These significant advances allow us to provide posterior distributions for the nuclear saturation point and propagate theoretical uncertainties to derived quantities: the pressure and incompressibility of symmetric nuclear matter, the nuclear symmetry energy, and its derivative. Our results, which are validated by statistical diagnostics, demonstrate that an understanding of truncation-error correlations between different densities and different observables is crucial for reliable UQ. The methods developed here are publicly available as annotated Jupyter notebooks.