Experiments with an Isolated Subatomic Particle at Rest

(Nobel Lecture 1989)
  • Hans Dehmelt
Conference paper


Research begun in the early seventies on geonium is reviewed. Geonium is a man-made atom, created at liquid helium temperature in ultrahigh vacuum from an individual electron in magnetic and electric trapping fields. Spin resonance in this atom is detected by continuously measuring the spin quantum number m = ±½ of the electron and counting the number of jumps between the two spin states
$$ g = 2.000{\rm{ }}000{\rm{ }}000{\rm{ }}110{\rm{ }}\left( {60} \right) $$
has been determined in microwave spectroscopy experiments after subtraction of quantum electrodynamics shifts. The
$$ g - {g_{DIRAC}} = 11x{10^{ - 11}} $$
excess over the value gDIRAC = 2 for the theoretical Dirac point electron suggests for the electron of nature a corresponding excess
$$ {{\mathop{\rm R}\nolimits} _e} - {R_{DIRAC}} $$
over the Dirac radius RDIRAC = 0 and a spatial structure. From a plot of measured g and R values for the near-Dirac particles electron, proton, triton, and He3 an electron radius
$$ {{\mathop{\rm R}\nolimits} _e} \approx {10^{ - 20}}cm $$
is extrapolated. In a speculation, the triton-proton-quark model has been extended to the electron, to a succession of sub-quarks and finally to the “cosmon”. Rapid decay of a cosmon anti-cosmon pair created from the “nothing” state in a spontaneous quantum jump initiated the big bang.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Dehmelt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of Washington SeattleUSA

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