Hyperfine structure of positronium

Thomas Fulton, David A. Owen, Wayne W. Repko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


We present the details of a calculation of the mα6lnα-1 contributions to the triplet-singlet splitting of the positronium ground state. Our result Δν(α6lnα-1)=34α4Rlnα-1=34 MHz places the theoretical value for the transition frequency ν approximately 1 standard deviation above the most recent experimental value. The calculation is performed using a perturbation theory based on the Bethe-Salpeter equation and on a wave function obtained by a single iteration from the nonrelativistic Pauli wave function. After a study of all relevant terms, we conclude that the only diagrams which contribute to our order are those involving the exchange of one or two virtual transverse photons. These contributions are explicitly evaluated, and we show that other possible contributions actually vanish.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1802-1811
Number of pages10
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1971
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


Dive into the research topics of 'Hyperfine structure of positronium'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this