A Caltech Library Service

Precise Determination of the Fine Structure Constant from X-Ray Spin Doublet Splitting

Christy, R. F. and Keller, J. M. (1942) Precise Determination of the Fine Structure Constant from X-Ray Spin Doublet Splitting. Physical Review, 61 (3-4). pp. 147-152. ISSN 0031-899X. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.61.147.

See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Corrections to the Sommerfeld formula for the LII-LIII x-ray spin doublet splitting, to take into account departures from a pure Coulomb field for heavy elements caused by interactions between electrons, are calculated by using Dirac wave functions for a Coulomb field and calculating, with all relativistic corrections, the terms in the electron interaction of order e^2 i.e., of relative order 1/Z, compared to the Sommerfeld splitting. The result is applied to experimental data for elements varying from Z=60 to Z=92, to obtain a direct experimental value for the fine structure constant. By the method of least squares, we find 1/α=ℏc/e^2=136.93 with an estimated limit of error of 0.18.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Additional Information:©1942 The American Physical Society Received 17 December 1941 We gratefully acknowledge our indebtedness to Professor J.R. Oppenheimer for suggesting this problem, and for pointing out the method of calculation. We also wish to express our gratitude to the National Youth Administration for furnishing assistance in the numerical calculations.
Issue or Number:3-4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:CHRpr42
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:6563
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:13 Dec 2006
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 20:35

Repository Staff Only: item control page