The problem of center-of-mass (CM) contaminations in ab initio nuclear structure calculations using configuration interaction (CI) and coupled-cluster (CC) approaches is analyzed. A rigorous and quantitative scheme for diagnosing the CM contamination of intrinsic observables is proposed and applied to ground-state calculations for 4He and 16O. The CI and CC calculations for 16O based on model spaces defined via a truncation of the single-particle basis lead to sizable CM contaminations, while the importance-truncated no-core shell model based on the NmaxΩ space is virtually free of CM contaminations.

%B Physical Letters B %V 679 %P 334-339 %8 08/2009 %G eng %N 4