Application of the N-Quantum Approximation to the Proton Radius Problem
Cowen, Steven Vincent
Greenberg, Oscar Wallace
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This thesis is organized into three parts: 1. Introduction and bound state calculations of electronic and muonic hydrogen, 2. Bound states in motion, and 3.Treatment of soft photons. In the first part, we apply the N-Quantum Approximation (NQA) to electronic and muonic hydrogen and search for any new corrections to energy levels that could account for the 0.31 meV discrepancy of the proton radius problem. We derive a bound state equation and compare our numerical solutions and wave functions to those of the Dirac equation. We find NQA Lamb shift diagrams and calculate the associated energy shift contributions. We do not find any new corrections large enough to account for the discrepancy. In part 2, we discuss the effects of motion on bound states using the NQA. We find classical Lorentz contraction of the lowest order NQA wave function. Finally, in part 3, we develop a clothing transformation for interacting fields in order to produce the correct asymptotic limits. We find the clothing eliminates a trilinear interacting Hamiltonian term and produces a quadrilinear soft photon interaction term.