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Keywords:

  • relativity;
  • quantum electrodynamics;
  • helium;
  • lithium;
  • MBPT

Abstract

After the basic physics of the Schrödinger equation is solved for in atomic systems, discrepancies with experiment arise from relativistic effects, quantum electrodynamic effects, and the fact the nucleus is not a point-like particle. While the nuclear effects are small, valuable nuclear physics information can be obtained from high-precision exeriments if the non-nuclear part of the problem can be controlled with similar precision. Recent progress in the accurate evaluation of relativistic and QED effects will be described, which gives information on a number of few-nucleon nuclei where theoretical progress has also been made by nuclear theorists. Examples of this interplay will be given, including a study of the so-called “halo” nucleus helium-6 through isostope shift experiments and the charge radii determination of the proton. In addition, the more complicated nuclear problem of the magnetization distribution in the bismuth nucleus will be shown to be probed because of experimental and theoretical advances in the study of hyperfine splitting in hydrogen-like and lithium-like bismuth. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Quantum Chem, 2006