Letter | Published:

Fine Structure of the He II Line λ = 4686 A.

Nature volume 162, page 33 (03 July 1948) | Download Citation



ACCORDING to the Dirac theory of the energy states in hydrogen-like spectra, levels of the same principal quantum number n which have the same value of the quantum number of total angular momentum j should coincide. Lamb and Retherford1 have shown that in the second quantum state of the hydrogen atom the 2 2S1/2-level lies 0·03 cm.-1 above the 2 2P1/2, term. Bethe2 has tried to explain this discrepancy by an interaction of the electron with the radiation field. His preliminary calculations show complete agreement with experiment for the hydrogen atom. For the He II spectrum he predicts a shift of the 3 2S1/2-level with respect to the 3 2P1/2-level by 0·13 cm.-1.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1.

    , and , Phys. Rev., 72, 241 (1947).

  2. 2.

    , Phys. Rev., 72, 339 (1947).

Download references

Author information


  1. Zweites Physikalisches Institut, Göttingen. March 5.

    •  & W. PAUL


  1. Search for H. KOPPERMANN in:

  2. Search for W. PAUL in:

About this article

Publication history





By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.