Description: Sometimes in science, a small measurement can have big ramifications. For a team of Livermore scientists, such was the case when they measured a small shift in the spectrum of extremely ionized atoms of uranium. The measurement involves the Lamb shift, a subtle change in the energy of an electron orbiting an atom's nucleus. The precision of the Livermore result was 10 times greater than that of existing measurements, making it the best measurement to date of a complicated correction to the simplest quantum description of how atoms behave. The measurement introduces a new realm in the search for deviations between the theory of quantum electrodynamics (QED), which is an extension of quantum mechanics, and the real world. Such deviations, if discovered, would have far-reaching consequences, indicating that QED is not a fundamental theory of nature.
Date: February 6, 2007
Creator: Hazi, A U
Item Type: Refine your search to only Report
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department