Quantum Field Theory and the Helium Atom: 101 Years Later
Abstract
Helium was first isolated on Earth in 1895, by Sir William Ramsey. One hundred and one years later, it seems like a good time to review our current theoretical understanding of the helium atom. Helium has played an important role in the development of both quantum mechanics and of quantum field theory. The early history of helium is sketched. Various aspects of the modern theory are described in some detail, including (1) the computation of fine structure to order \alpha^2 Ry and \alpha^3 Ry, (2) the decay of metastable states, and (3) Rydberg states and longrange forces. A brief survey is made of some of the recent work on the quantum field theory of He and Helike ions.
 Publication:

arXiv eprints
 Pub Date:
 December 1996
 DOI:
 10.48550/arXiv.hepph/9612330
 arXiv:
 arXiv:hepph/9612330
 Bibcode:
 1996hep.ph...12330S
 Keywords:

 High Energy Physics  Phenomenology
 EPrint:
 23 pages, Latex, invited talk presented at "Quantum Systems: New Trends and Methods," at Minsk, June 1996