Qed and Relativity in Atomic Physics
My task in these lectures, set by the organizers, is to review basic concepts of quantum electrodynamics (QED) and to describe some applications of QED to problems of current interest in atomic physics in which relativistic effects are important. Since the subject had its beginnings almost sixty years ago, with Dirac’s quantization of the radiation field and his discovery of the relativistic wave equation for the electron, five hours is too small by at least an order of magnitude to do it even partial justice. In the review part, I hope to avoid displeasing some of the audience all of the time or all of the audience some of the time - not to mention all of the audience all of the time - by assuming only an average memory for things learned long ago by some of you but not much used, by taking shortcuts wherever possible and by emphasizing aspects which are either not well known or not discussed clearly in textbooks.
KeywordsDirac Equation Rydberg State Level Shift Transverse Photon Virtual Pair
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- 1.For an excellent discussion, see J.D. Bjorken and S.D. Drell, Relativistic Quantum Fields (McGraw-Hill Inc., New York, 1956), pp. 68–93.Google Scholar
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- 4.This section is based on the paper J. Sucher, Phys. Rev. D22, 348 (1980) and on later reviews and extensions described in (a) Proceedings of the Agronne Workshop on the Relativistic Theory of Atomic Structure, H.G. Berry, K.T. Cheng, W.K. Johnson and Y.-K. Kim, Eds. ANL-80-116 (Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL, 1980); (b) Proceedings of the NATO Advanced Study Institute on Relativistic Effects in Atoms, Molecules and Solids, G. Malli, Ed. (Plenum, New York, (1982) and (c) Int. Jour. Quant. Chem. XXV, 3 (1984).MathSciNetADSGoogle Scholar
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- 8.I thank Y.-K. Kim for a discussion of this point.Google Scholar
- 9.For reviews, see e.g. J.-P. Desclaux in Ref. 4a and I.P. Grant, ref 4b.Google Scholar
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- 21.C.-K. Au, G. Feinberg and J. Sucher, paper in preparation.Google Scholar
- 23.For a comprehensive review, see G. Soff, NBS Workshop 1985.Google Scholar
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