QED with heavy ions: On the way from strong to supercritical fields

Research output


The current status of tests of quantum electrodynamics with heavy ions is reviewed. The theoretical predictions for the Lamb shift and the hyperfine splitting in heavy ions are compared with available experimental data. Recent achievements and future prospects in studies of the g factor with highly charged ions are also reported. These studies can provide precise determination of the fundamental constants and tests of QED within and beyond the Furry picture at the strong-coupling regime. Theoretical calculations of the electron-positron pair creation probabilities in low-energy heavy-ion collisions are also considered. Special attention is paid to tests of QED in supercritical-field regime, which can be accessed in slow collisions of two bare nuclei with the total charge number larger than the critical value, Zcrit ≈ 173. In the supercritical field, the initially neutral vacuum can spontaneously decay into the charged vacuum and two positrons. It is demonstrated that this fundamental phenomenon can be observed via impact-sensitive measurements of the pair-production probabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number052
JournalProceedings of Science
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2020
Event2019 International Conference on Precision Physics and Fundamental Physical Constants, FFK 2019 - Tihany
Duration: 9 Jun 201914 Jun 2019

Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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