X-Ray Optics
School of Physics -> Optics Groups -> X-Ray Optics Group -> Research -> Novel High-Energy Sources for QED

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Novel high-energy sources for QED tests

A major problem in most X-ray QED measurements is the presence of satellite contamination and Doppler shifts and broadening from fast beam sources. Recently, new sources known as Electron Beam Ion Traps (pictured) have been shown to avoid much of these problems, and still allow desired charge states to be produced and measured.

The EBIT or Electron Beam Ion Trap, has been successfully run at several institutions around the world. We have good links with the NIST EBIT (USA) and the Oxford EBIT (UK), and have collegial interactions with several of the others including the Livermore EBITs (USA). This has paved the way for more careful and critical tests of QED, together with a wide range of other experiments still under construction. A beauty of this source is that the charge state is selectable by the potential applied, due to the balance of ionisation and recombination processes. Yet this device can fit inside a normal sized laboratory - or even an office - with only a slightly-more-than-normal-sized budget.

Our involvement in this research is in several directions: we are involved in several specific investigations at these facilities. Some of the highest accuracy measurements in the medium-Z regime by us have probed the two-electron QED and excited-state QED in this region for the first time.


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