Ever since it was proposed more than three decades ago, the nuclear optical model has been very successful in interpreting a large body of nucleon-induced nuclear reaction data in terms of a complex nucleon-nucleus potential. Rapid progress both in the experimental measurements and the theoretical developments in the last two decades has led to a better understanding of this nucleon-nucleus optical potential. From the parameter-fitting phenomenological stage, the optical model has come a long way and it is now possible to calculate the nucleon-nucleus optical potential in a reasonable way starting from the fundamental nucleon-nucleon interaction. Excellent reviews on various aspects of the optical model exist in the literature for proton energies above 10 MeV. The present article is an attempt to review comprehensively the status of the proton-nucleus optical potential at low proton energies, below the Coulomb-barrier, for target nuclei with mass numbers lying between 40 and 130. The sets of phenomenological optical potential derived mostly from (p, n) reaction data are reviewed and their applicabilities discussed. The neutron-nucleus optical model is referred to wherever it is relevant. Microscopic calculations for one case is carried out and compared with the corresponding phenomenological values.
Volume 94, 2020
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