Scientists from Russia and Germany

for many decades, Scientists hope to detect any phenomenon that does not fit into the framework of known particle physics. Now, researchers calculated theoretically important and previously unknown effect that must be taken into consideration in similar searches. We are talking about the behavior of electrons in atoms of different isotopes of an element.

Scientific paper with the results of these theoretical investigations was published in the journal Physical Review A.

Now we will tell you all about it.

the Trail to the mystery

the Standard model of particle physics brilliantly withstood countless variety of experimental tests. The stronger the excitement of the scientists hoping to detect anything that would require new theories.

the easiest way to search for unknown effects is to create the physical conditions that mankind previously simply was not possible to observe extremes of temperature, pressure, energy and so on. But this way requires the creation of very expensive and very complex systems, such as the Large hadron Collider.

How else can you access phenomena beyond the Standard model? Some physicists hope to make it up, carefully watching the “cheap” and, it would seem, long known processes, such as radioactive decay and other activity of atomic nuclei. After all, the available accuracy of measurements from year to year is growing, and today, experimenters may notice a subtle effect, has eluded researchers until a few decades ago.

One such guerrilla paths to new physics, according to some experts, may be the nonlinearity of the chart of king. Quietly, now, we’ll explain everything.


When an electron in an atom goes from higher energy level to a lower one, it emits a photon of a strictly defined frequency. Physicists say that at this frequency is the spectral line corresponding to this transition. In the atom a lot of energy levels, so many possible transitions and spectral lines.

Now remember that isotopes are varieties of a chemical element different number of neutrons in the nucleus. For example, argon, which will be discussed further, the three stable isotopes: argon-36, argon-38 and argon-40. Here the number refers to the total number of protons and neutrons in the nucleus. Protons from argon 18 always so easy to count that the first isotope has 18 neutrons in the nucleus, the second 20 and third 22.

One and the same spectral line in different isotope has a different frequency. This effect is called isotopic shift. The difference in frequency of the two isotopes may be a tiny fraction of a percentage of the frequency, but modern technology is quite measurable quantity.

each pair of isotopes of a given element and each spectral line has its isotopic shift. Selecting the element and spectral line, it is possible to make a table where in one column will be a pair of isotope and another isotope shift of this line for her.

Now – drum roll – go to the chart of king. Choose a chemical element, for example, argon. We choose two spectral lines (let’s call them A and b).

Put on the horizontal axis the value of f/N where f is the isotopic shift for spectral lines And any pair of isotopes and the N – difference in number of neutrons from this pair. Different values will be as much as the item pairs of different isotopes. In the case of argon, the three of them: (argon-36, argon-38), (argon-36, argon-40) and (argon-38, argon-40). On the vertical axis put the same for the spectral line B.

the resulting chart is the chart of king.

scientists from russia and germany calculated route for searches of new physics 1the Deviation lines on the chart king from the line turned out to be unexpectedly large.Illustration Of Spbpu.

In search of bending

the Theory says, and experiments show that, for any element and any of its spektralof covered lines the line on the chart king is virtually indistinguishable from a straight line. The deviations are so small that only in recent years, experimental techniques have reached a sufficient precision in order to detect them.

And it is here that physicists should be cautious. It is tempting to interpret the nonlinearity of the chart king as the birth of the atomic nucleus particles not predicted by the Standard model.

“If the chart king is slightly curved, it can be a manifestation of new particles beyond the Standard model physics [elementary particles],” says first author Vladimir Yerokhin St. Petersburg Polytechnic University Peter the Great.

But this phenomenon can be other reasons is well within the existing paradigm. They just systematically not been studied by theoreticians since yesterday was beyond the possible for the experimenter.

These pitfalls it is better to find about them will break the boat of someone’s glittering expectations. It is this and engaged the authors of the new article.

Physicists have calculated the chart of a king for the argon ions. Scientists have considered ions with four, five, and six electrons. Such “atoms” is exclusively convenient both for theoretical study and experiments.

To the surprise of researchers, it was found that the deviation from a straight range from 5 to 30 kilohertz. It is ten thousand times more than the previous theoretical estimates, in comparable systems.

Now the researchers hope to test their conclusions experimentally on the latest installations in Germany. In addition, they plan to consider the other chemical elements.

“we Must continue to study these effects on other atoms with more electrons, to reduce the influence of errors of calculation,” says Erokhin.

These results may become a reliable basis for the search of new particles.

“If the experiment succeeds, we can obtain restrictions on the parameters of the proposed new partparticle beyond the Standard model. In addition, such experiments will help to determine whether change over time of the fundamental constants, which is very important for our understanding of the Universe,” concludes physicist.

By the way, before “News.Science” ( wrote about how the new physics can be searched for by using accelerators, gravitational wave detectors and recorders of cosmic particles.

Text: To.Science