Special Issue "High Precision Measurements of Fundamental Constants"
A special issue of Atoms (ISSN 2218-2004).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2017)
Dr. Joseph N. Tan
National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), 100 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, MD 20899, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: trapping, cooling, and spectroscopy of exotic ions; order in plasmas cooled to low temperature (& driven far from equilibrium); precision measurements and tests of QED or the standard model
Precision experiments with atomic systems provide an important avenue for testing our understanding of the laws of nature. Along with theoretical advances, they enable significant improvement in the determination of fundamental physical constants. As an example, a 13-fold improvement in the precision of the electron mass determination (relative uncertainty of 30 ppt) was obtained by interrogating a single 12C5+ hydrogen-like ion and accounting for higher-order effects from quantum electrodynamics (QED). A direct measurement of the magnetic moment of the proton by flipping its spin in a Penning trap has now surpassed the precision of an indirect determination from the spectrum of a hydrogen maser (a 42-year-old record). The most stringent test of QED is a comparison between prediction and measurement of the anomalous magnetic moment (g-2) of an electron, with an independent value of the fine structure constant (a) coming from a cold atom interferometer. Quantum interferometry of laser-cooled atoms has also provided a precise value of the Newtonian gravitational constant (G). Some other interesting works involve exotic atomic systems (antiprotonic helium, positronium, muonic hydrogen, etc.). In keeping with the advancing precision of measurements, certain physical constants will be selected to assume a far-reaching role in metrology. In 2018, the International System of Units (SI) is scheduled to undergo a framework revision wherein a set of seven exactly-defined fundamental constants would form the new basis for defining the SI units. This Special Issue highlights recent works, innovations and challenges in high precision measurements of fundamental constants.
Dr. Joseph N. Tan
Manuscript Submission Information
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