We calculate the two-loop Bethe logarithm correction to atomic energy levels in hydrogenlike systems. The two-loop Bethe logarithm is a low-energy quantum electrodynamic (QED) effect involving multiple summations over virtual excited atomic states. Although much smaller in absolute magnitude than the well-known one-loop Bethe logarithm, the two-loop analog is quite significant when compared to the current experimental accuracy of the [Formula presented]–[Formula presented] transition: It contributes [Formula presented] and [Formula presented] for the [Formula presented] and the [Formula presented] state, respectively. The two-loop Bethe logarithm has been the largest unknown correction to the hydrogen Lamb shift to date. Together with the ongoing measurement of the proton charge radius at the Paul Scherrer Institute, its calculation will bring theoretical and experimental accuracy for the Lamb shift in atomic hydrogen to the level of [Formula presented].
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)