Pressure shifts in high-precision hydrogen spectroscopy: II. Impact approximation and Monte-Carlo simulations

A. Matveev, N. Kolachevsky, C. M. Adhikari, U. Jentschura

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1 Citation (Scopus)


We investigate collisional shifts of spectral lines involving excited hydrogenic states, where van der Waals coefficients have recently been shown to have large numerical values when expressed in atomic units. Particular emphasis is laid on the recent hydrogen 2S-4P experiment (and an ongoing 2S-6P experiment) in Garching, but numerical input data are provided for other transitions (e.g. involving S states), as well. We show that the frequency shifts can be described, to sufficient accuracy, in the impact approximation. The pressure related effects were separated into two parts, (i) related to collisions of atoms inside of the beam, and (ii) related to collisions of the atoms in the atomic beam with the residual background gas. The latter contains both atomic as well as molecular hydrogen. The dominant effect of intra-beam collisions is evaluated by a Monte-Carlo simulation, taking the geometry of the experimental apparatus into account. While, in the Garching experiment, the collisional shift is on the order of 10 Hz, and thus negligible, it can decisively depend on the experimental conditions. We present input data which can be used in order to describe the effect for other transitions of current and planned experimental interest.

Original languageEnglish
Article number075006
JournalJournal of Physics B: Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Mar 19 2019



  • collisional broadening
  • collisional shift
  • impact approximation
  • Monte-Carlo approach
  • van der Waals interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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