Two-Photon Spectroscopy of Hydrogen 1S–2S
In 1976, reviewing the field of two-photon spectroscopy, BLOEMBERGEN and LEVENSON wrote: “ The 1S – 2S transition in atomic hydrogen is among the most important in physics, and it can be resolved by the Doppler-free two-photon technique. The experiment is a tremendous challenge..... ” . More than a decade later, this remains a fair summary. The special nature of the 1S – 2S transition was pointed out independently by several authors, notably BAKLANOV and CHEBOTAYEV [2,3], who carried out a detailed study, and CAGNAC et al . By a remarkable combination of properties it brings the ground state of hydrogen into the class of atomic levels which can be studied by the methods of high resolution laser spectroscopy. In recent years, experiments on the 1S – 2S transition in hydrogen and its isotopes have been used to test quantum electrodynamics, to determine the Rydberg constant and to give a value of the electron-proton mass ratio. It is true that so far all these objectives have been accomplished at least as well by other means; 1S – 2S experiments bristle with technical difficulties, and the first continuous wave (cw) measurements were reported only recently [5,6]. Now that this milestone has been passed, however, the potential for improvement is enormous.
KeywordsFrequency Doubling Lamb Shift Rydberg Constant Oxford Group Lithium Formate
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