Relativistic Hartree equations for spherical nuclei are derived from a relativistic nuclear quantum field theory using a coordinate-space Green function approach. The renormalizable field theory lagrangian includes the interaction of nucleons with σ, ω, ρ and π mesons and the photon. The Hartree equations represent the "mean-field" approximation for a finite nuclear system. Coupling constants and the σ-meson mass are determined from the properties of nuclear matter and the rms charge radius in 40Ca, and pionic contributions are absent for static, closed-shell nuclei. Calculated charge densities, neutron densities, rms radii, and single-nucleon energy levels throughout the periodic table are compared with data and with results of non-relativistic calculations. Relativistic Hartree results agree with experiment at a level comparable to that of the most sophisticated non-relativistic calculations to date. It is shown that the Lorentz covariance of the relativistic formalism leads naturally to density-dependent interactions between nucleons. Furthermore, non-relativistic reduction reveals non-central and non-local aspects inherent in the Hartree formalism. The success of this simple relativistic Hartree approach is attributed to these features of the interaction.
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Supported in part by National Science Foundation Grant NSF PHY 79-18046 . National Science Foundation Predoctoral Fellow. 503 such traditional treatments are reaching their limitations and stimulating the investigation of alternate approaches .