Precision Measurement for Metastable Helium Atoms of the 413 nm Tune-Out Wavelength at Which the Atomic Polarizability Vanishes

B.M. Henson, R.I. Khakimov, R.G. Dall, K.G.H. Baldwin, Li Yan Tang, A.G. Truscott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We present the first measurement for helium atoms of the tune-out wavelength at which the atomic polarizability vanishes. We utilize a novel, highly sensitive technique for precisely measuring the effect of variations in the trapping potential of confined metastable (23S1) helium atoms illuminated by a perturbing laser light field. The measured tune-out wavelength of 413.0938(9stat)(20syst) nm compares well with the value predicted by a theoretical calculation [413.02(9) nm] which is sensitive to finite nuclear mass, relativistic, and quantum electrodynamic effects. This provides motivation for more detailed theoretical investigations to test quantum electrodynamics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number043004
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume115
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes

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