The collisional shift of a transition constitutes an important systematic effect in high-precision spectroscopy. Accurate values for van der Waals interaction coefficients are required in order to evaluate the distance-dependent frequency shift. We here consider the interaction of excited hydrogen
atoms with metastable atoms (in the
state), in order to explore the influence of quasi-degenerate
states on the dipole-dipole interaction. The motivation for the calculation is given by planned high-precision measurements of the transition. Due to the presence of quasi-degenerate levels, one can use the non-retarded approximation for the interaction terms over wide distance ranges.
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