- Experimental studies of the ground state QED : corrections in H- and He-like uranium (2003)
- In summary, the cooled heavy-ion beams of the ESR storage ring offer excellent experimental conditions for a precise study of the effects of QED in the groundstate of high-Z one- and two-electron ions. This has been demonstrated within the series of experiments conducted at the electron cooler device as well as at the gasjet target. In this work we have used a recently developed experimental approach to obtain the first direct measurement of the two-electron contributions to the ground state binding energy of helium-like uranium. By employing our method, all one-electron contributions to the binding energy such as finite-nuclear size corrections and the one-electron self energy cancel out completely. Note, this is a distinctive feature of this particular kind of QED test and is in contrast to all other tests of bound state QED for high-Z ions such as 1s Lamb shift (in one-electron systems), g-factor of bound electrons, or hyperfine splitting. Compared to former investigations conducted at the superEBIT in Livermore we could already substantially improve the statistical accuracy and extend studies to the higher-Z regime. Moreover, our result has reached a sensitivity on specific two-electron QED contributions. Our value agrees with the theoretical predictions within the experimental uncertainty. Similar to the superEBIT experiment possible sources of systematic errors are essentially eliminated and the final result is limited only by counting statistics. For the case of the 1s Lamb shift in hydrogen-like uranium, the achieved accuracy of +- 4.2 eV is a substantial improvement by a factor of 3 compared to the most precise value up to now  (see Fig. 5.6). Our result already provides a test of the first-order QED contributions at the 1.5% level and only a slight improvement is required in order to achieve a sensitivity to QED contributions beyond first-order SE and VP.