Abstract

We investigate the interaction of metastable 2S hydrogen atoms with a perfectly conducting wall, including parity-breaking S-P mixing terms (with full account of retardation). The neighboring 2P1/2 and 2P3/2 levels are found to have a profound effect on the transition from the short-range, nonrelativistic regime, to the retarded form of the Casimir-Polder interaction. The corresponding P state admixtures to the metastable 2S state are calculated. We find the long-range asymptotics of the retarded Casimir-Polder potentials and mixing amplitudes for general excited states, including a fully quantum electrodynamic treatment of the dipole-quadrupole mixing term. The decay width of the metastable 2S state is roughly doubled even at a comparatively large distance of 918 a.u. (Bohr radii) from the perfect conductor. The magnitude of the calculated effects is compared to the unexplained Sokolov effect.

Department(s)

Physics

Keywords and Phrases

Atoms; Electrodynamics; Hydrogen; Mixing; Quantum Electronics; Atom-wall Interactions; Casimir-Polder Interaction; Dipole-quadrupole; Hydrogen Atoms; Non-relativistic Regimes; Parity Breaking; Perfectly Conducting Walls; Quantum Electrodynamics; Quantum Theory

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1050-2947

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type

text

Language(s)

English

Rights

© 2015 American Physical Society (APS), All rights reserved.

Included in

Physics Commons

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