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Precise calculations of atomic spectra and tests of fundamental physics

Research at Charles University

Atomic Physics, Bound-State Quantum Electrodynamics.

As the “nightmare scenario” at LHC, namely the discovery of the Higgs particle and nothing more, became reality, the fundamental physics has started facing a serious problem. On one hand, we know for sure that the Standard Model (SM) of fundamental constituents and interactions is incomplete, yet on the other hand, we do not know even the scale where to search for physics beyond the SM. In this situation, precise low-energy tests of the SM offer one of the viable possibilities how to proceed further in our exploration of fundamental physical laws.

Aim of research is to perform highly accurate calculations of atomic spectra for light atoms (hydrogen-like and helium-like atoms). When compared with current experimental data, these calculations enable us to obtain bounds on what is called “Beyond Standard Model (BSM) physics”.

Any discrepancy between theoretical and experimental results can be a sign of BSM physics. In order to obtain atomic spectra with necessary precision one has to take into account higher order QED (quantum electrodynamics) effects. The goal of our work is to perform calculation of these fine effects (such as one- and two-loop radiative corrections, nuclear recoil etc.) in the case of simplest atoms with one or two electrons.

For hydrogen-like atoms, we have developed a method for calculation of the dominant QED effect with the accuracy matching, or even better than, that of other approaches.

For helium-like and other few-electron atoms, we have developed the QED calculation that present current state-of-the-art theoretical determination of atomic spectra and that matches the accuracy of current experiments.

Team leader & members

  • Dr. Vojtěch Patkóš
  • doc. Jaroslav Zamastil

Selected publication

  • ZAMASTIL, V. PATKÓŠ: “Self-energy of an electron bound in a Coulomb field”, Phys. Rev. A 88, 032501 (2013).
  • PATKÓŠ, J. ZAMASTIL: “Lamb shift for states with j=1/2”, Phys. Rev. A 91, 062511 (2015).
  • PACHUCKI, V. PATKÓŠ, V. A. YEROKHIN: “Testing fundamental interactions on the helium atom”, Phys. Rev. A 95, 062510 (2017).


Charles University
Faculty of Mathematics and Physics
Mgr. Vojtěch Patkóš, Ph.D.
E: vojtech.patkos@mff.cuni.cz
T: +420 951 551 242

More information

We have an interest for motivated post graduate students interesting in cooperation.


Univerzita Karlova v Praze