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.
U. D. Jentschura, "Long-range Atom-Wall Interactions and Mixing Terms: Metastable Hydrogen," Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, vol. 91, no. 1, pp. 010502-1-010502-5, American Physical Society (APS), Jan 2015.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevA.91.010502
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)
Article - Journal
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