In 1959 Ya. B. Zel'dovich predicted that the bound-state spectrum
of the non-relativistic Coulomb problem distorted at small distances by
a short-range potential undergoes a peculiar reconstruction whenever
this potential alone supports a low-energy scattering resonance.
However documented experimental evidence of this effect has been
lacking. Previous theoretical studies of this phenomenon were confined
to the regime where the range of the short-ranged potential is
much smaller than Bohr's radius of the Coulomb field. We go beyond
this limitation by restricting ourselves to highly-excited s
states. This allows us to demonstrate that along the Periodic Table of
elements the Zel'dovich effect manifests itself as systematic periodic
variations of the Rydberg spectra with a period proportional to the
cubic root of the atomic number. This dependence, which is supported by
analysis of experimental and numerical data, has its origin in the binding
properties of the ionic core of the atom.
Atomic Physics Seminar
Monday, May 2, 2005
Physics Building, Room 204
Note special room.
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