Quantum Electrodynamical Corrections in Critical Fields

Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 255)


We investigate field-theoretical corrections, such as vacuum polarization and self energy to study their influence on strongly bound electrons in heavy and superheavy atoms. In critical fields (Z ≃ 170) for spontaneous e+epair creation the coupling constant of the external field exceeds 1 thereby preventing the ordinary perturbative approach of quantum electrodynamical corrections which employs an expansion in . For heavy and superheavy elements radiative corrections have to be treated to all orders in . The Feynman diagrams for the lowest-order (a) vacuum polarization and (b) self energy are displayed in Fig. 1. The double lines indicate the exact propagators and wave functions in the Coulomb field of an extended nucleus. Fig. 2 shows an -expansion of the vacuum polarization graph. The dominant effect is provided by the Uehling contribution being visualized by the first diagram on the right hand side. It is linear in the external field and thus of order α().


Energy Shift Vacuum Polarization Lamb Shift Muonic Atom Nuclear Charge Distribution 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. Soff
    • 1
  1. 1.Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung (GSI)DarmstadtWest Germany

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