Skip to Content

Simple Atoms: QED Tests and Fundamental Constants

Prof. Savely Karshenboim

D.I. Mendeleev Institute for Metrology, St. Petersburg, Russia and Max-Planck-Institut fur Quantenoptik, Garching, Germany

11.00am, Wednesday 17 July 2002, Hercus Theatre, School of Physics, University of Melbourne

The study of simple atoms can be performed theoretically and experimentally with high accuracy, and comparison of theory with experiment provides us with several high precision tests of bound state QED. Theory cannot actually lead to a figure to compare with experiment, but it can only present some measurable quantities in terms of fundamental and auxiliary constants. The theory of simple atoms is based on QED but also involves an essential part of nuclear and particle physics. A significant part of experiments are related to high resolution spectroscopy. The present status of the precision physics of simple atoms is presented in detail. We overview a comparison of the theory of such atoms, bound state QED, and experiment. In particular, we consider the hyperfine structure in light atoms and the g-factor of a bound electron in hydrogen-like ions at low and medium Z. We discuss a project on optical measurement of the 2s hyperfine interval in atomic hydrogen. We also pay attention to the determination of fundamental constants from the study of simple atoms. The constants under consideration include alpha, the electron-to-proton mass ratio, and the electron-to-muon mass ratio.

Back to 2002 programme