Description: An experiment to measure the energy of 3d-3p transitions in the (..mu../sup -/He/sup 4/)/sup +/ ion is now in progress. The experiment, which is being performed at the Brookhaven National Laboratory Alternating Gradient Synchrotron, will use an infrared CO/sub 2/ laser to stimulate the transitions. These transitions are of interest because their energy is due almost entirely to the polarization of the vacuum. In a pure Coulomb field, states with the same principal quantum number, n, and total angular momentum, J, are degenerate. Vacuum polarization, because of its nonlinear dependence on electric field strength, results in departure from an inverse square Coulomb field, causing a splitting which depends on the orbital angular momentum, removing the degeneracy. The dominance of vacuum polarization in giving rise to these splittings in the muonic ion is in contrast to the situation in electronic atoms where vacuum polarization makes a very minor contribution to the Lamb shift. 4 refs., 4 figs.
Date: January 1, 1986
Creator: May, M.
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