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

We perform statistically rigorous uncertainty quantification (UQ) for chiral effective field theory ($\chi$EFT) 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 $\chi$EFT 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 multi-task machine learning to reveal correlations between the EOS at different proton fractions. The inferred in-medium $\chi$EFT 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.

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