Testing the equivalence principle by Lamb shift energies

  • Alvarez C
  • Mann R
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Abstract

The Einstein Equivalence Principle has as one of its implications that the non-gravitational laws of physics are those of special relativity in any local freely-falling frame. We consider possible tests of this hypothesis for systems whose energies are due to radiative corrections, i.e. which arise purely as a consequence of quantum field theoretic loop effects. Specifically, we evaluate the Lamb shift transition (as given by the energy splitting between the $2S_{1/2}$ and $2P_{1/2}$ atomic states) within the context of violations of local position invariance and local Lorentz invariance, as described by the $T H \epsilon\mu$ formalism. We compute the associated red shift and time dilation parameters, and discuss how (high-precision) measurements of these quantities could provide new information on the validity of the equivalence principle.

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Authors

  • C. Alvarez

  • R. B. Mann

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