Advancing the theory of the hydrogen atom. (News Briefs).
Over the past several years, a NIST-led project has carried out a precise calculation of the most basic quantum electrodynamic (QED) effect in the spectrum of hydrogen, namely the radiative process in which the atom emits and then reabsorbs a photon (the quantum of electromagnetic radiation). This process results in shifts of the atomic energy levels, which, in turn, affect the frequencies of light that are emitted and absorbed in experiments. The NIST work has led to a reduction of the uncertainty in the one-photon QED effect by over three orders of magnitude.
This accomplishment was made possible by a number of factors, including the high-performance computing resources at NIST and new developments in numerical analysis. The calculation required months of intensive, high-performance parallel computation.
This project was a collaboration between NIST, the Technical University of Dresden, and the University of Regensburg, both in Germany. The results have received wide recognition. For example, the project has been described as a "spectacular success" in Physics Reports, Vol. 342, p. 63 (2001).
CONTACT: Peter Mohr, (301) 975-3217; email@example.com.
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|Publication:||Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Mar 1, 2002|
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