Recent Fine Structure Measurements in Hydrogen-Like Atoms
In spite of the advances elsewhere in physics, measurements of the hydrogen fine structure still give a very significant test of quantum electrodynamics and an important source for the determination of the fine structure constant.1 Until very recently the precision of the measurements was limited by the natural line width due to the lifetime of the states. Recent advances in technique make it possible to overcome this limitation and give promise of increasing the precision of the measurements by an order of magnitude. In this review, I will summarize the present state of our knowledge of the hydrogen fine structure, describe the recent advances in technique which enable one to reduce the line width below the natural line width, and describe methods on the horizon which give promise of even greater precision.
KeywordsFine Structure Lamb Shift Fine Structure Constant Radiofrequency Field Natural Line Width
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