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Title: Fine-structure anomalies and search for variation of the fine-structure constant in laboratory experiments

Abstract

The configuration interaction in many-electron atoms may cause anomalies in the fine structure which make the intervals small and very sensitive to variation of the fine-structure constant. Repeated precision measurements of these intervals over a long period of time can put strong constraints on possible time variation of the fine-structure constant. We consider the 5p{sup 4} {sup 3}P{sub 2,1,0} fine-structure multiplet in the ground state of neutral tellurium as an example. Here the effect of change of the fine structure constant is enhanced about 100 times in the relative change of the small energy interval between the {sup 3}P{sub 1} and {sup 3}P{sub 0} states.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2]
  1. School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney 2052 (Australia)
  2. (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
20786503
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Physical Review. A; Journal Volume: 72; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.72.052514; (c) 2005 The American Physical Society; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
74 ATOMIC AND MOLECULAR PHYSICS; ACCURACY; ATOMS; CONFIGURATION INTERACTION; ELECTRONS; FINE STRUCTURE; GROUND STATES; TELLURIUM; VARIATIONS

Citation Formats

Dzuba, V. A., Flambaum, V. V., and Physics Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439-4843. Fine-structure anomalies and search for variation of the fine-structure constant in laboratory experiments. United States: N. p., 2005. Web. doi:10.1103/PHYSREVA.72.0.
Dzuba, V. A., Flambaum, V. V., & Physics Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439-4843. Fine-structure anomalies and search for variation of the fine-structure constant in laboratory experiments. United States. doi:10.1103/PHYSREVA.72.0.
Dzuba, V. A., Flambaum, V. V., and Physics Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439-4843. Tue . "Fine-structure anomalies and search for variation of the fine-structure constant in laboratory experiments". United States. doi:10.1103/PHYSREVA.72.0.
@article{osti_20786503,
title = {Fine-structure anomalies and search for variation of the fine-structure constant in laboratory experiments},
author = {Dzuba, V. A. and Flambaum, V. V. and Physics Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois 60439-4843},
abstractNote = {The configuration interaction in many-electron atoms may cause anomalies in the fine structure which make the intervals small and very sensitive to variation of the fine-structure constant. Repeated precision measurements of these intervals over a long period of time can put strong constraints on possible time variation of the fine-structure constant. We consider the 5p{sup 4} {sup 3}P{sub 2,1,0} fine-structure multiplet in the ground state of neutral tellurium as an example. Here the effect of change of the fine structure constant is enhanced about 100 times in the relative change of the small energy interval between the {sup 3}P{sub 1} and {sup 3}P{sub 0} states.},
doi = {10.1103/PHYSREVA.72.0},
journal = {Physical Review. A},
number = 5,
volume = 72,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Nov 15 00:00:00 EST 2005},
month = {Tue Nov 15 00:00:00 EST 2005}
}
  • A possibility for fundamental constants to vary in time is suggested by theories unifying gravity with other interactions. In this article we examine proposals to use optical transitions of Sr, Dy, Yb II, and Yb III for the search of the time variation of the fine-structure constant {alpha}. Frequencies of atomic transitions are calculated using the relativistic Hartree-Fock method and configuration interaction technique. The effect of variation of {alpha} on the frequencies is studied by varying {alpha} in computer codes. Accuracy of measurements needed to improve the current best limit on the time variation of {alpha} is discussed.
  • It has been proposed that the radio-frequency electric-dipole (E1) transition between two nearly degenerate opposite-parity states in atomic dysprosium should be highly sensitive to possible temporal variation of the fine-structure constant ({alpha}) [V. A. Dzuba, V. V. Flambaum, and J. K. Webb, Phys. Rev. A 59, 230 (1999)]. We analyze here an experimental realization of the proposed search in progress in our laboratory, which involves monitoring the E1 transition frequency over a period of time using direct frequency counting techniques. We estimate that a statistical sensitivity of |{alpha}/{alpha}|{approx}10{sup -18}/yr may be achieved and discuss possible systematic effects that may limitmore » such a measurement.« less
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