Abstract: Mass models are big business these days. What sets the FR(L)DM, and some other “mass” models apart? They are general nuclear structure models, and can model much more about nuclei than masses. This is important because to understand a model and refine it is ideally necessary to model many nuclear properties for many nuclei. I will illustrate the main FR(L)DM features (and it is not very complicated, for my undergraduate thesis I dived into an existing “predecessor” code and modified it so it could be extended from symmetric to asymmetric fission) and the steps that led to the FRDM(2012). And is it “better”, can it predict properties of currently unknown nuclei and how is it applied to more than nuclear masses? What can we expect in the future to be the ultimate accuracy of nuclear structure models applied to masses. Case in point: the FR(L)DM accuracy took more than 30 years to improve from an accuracy of 0.83 MeV to 0.56 MeV.
Note: The Finite Range Droplet Model (FRDM) is one of the most widely employed models for computing nuclear binding energies and other properties of importance for nuclear-structure, fission and astrophysics studies. The history of its development, its success and shortcomings are a remarkable illustration of the challenges encountered up to the present day in modelling the atomic nucleus.