Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name





Gordon W. F. Drake


corrections, dipole, electric, nonrelativistic, relativistic, transitions




Radiative transition probabilities for light atoms and ions are normally calculated from nonrelativistic wave functions and the electric dipole transition operator. For the nonrelativistic energies, the theory of relativistic corrections is well established in terms of the Breit interaction, but the same is not true for relativistic corrections to transition probabilities. The main focus of this work to perform high precision variational calculations for the relativistic corrections for the case of allowed electric dipole transitions, and to compare with known results for the one-electron case. The calculation involves the use of perturbation theory, using pseudostates to sum over the complete sets of intermediate states. In the limit of large Z, it is only the leading hydrogenic term in a 1/Z expansion that contributes, and so a direct check with the one-electron case is made in the thesis in order to establish a direct connection with transition matrix elements calculated directly from the Dirac equation. Given their importance in these calculations, this work also provides a test of general perturbation techniques and the rate of convergence with basis set size for relativistic perturbation operators.