Measurement of the n=2 Lamb shift in He+ by the anisotropy method

A. Van Wijngaarden
J. Kwela
Gordon W. F. Drake, University of Windsor

copyright American Physical Society


A high-precision measurement of the 2s 2S1/22p 2P1/2 Lamb shift in He+ by the quenching-anisotropy method is reported. The theory and experimental method are described in detail. The measured value of 14042.520.16 MHz (11 parts per million) rivals the accuracy of Lamb-shift measurements in hydrogen by microwave resonance. By subtracting the known low-order terms in the Lamb shift, we interpret the results as a measurement of the order (Z)6mc2 and higher contributions to the electron self-energy GSE(Z). The various contributions to the Lamb shift are discussed, and a revised value for GSE(Z) at low Z is extracted from high-Z calculations. The theoretical value for the Lamb shift is 14042.510.2 MHz, in excellent agreement with experiment. The results provide the most sensitive available determination of GSE(Z) for low Z. Measurements and calculations for hydrogen and other members of the isoelectronic sequence are discussed. © 1991 The American Physical Society.