Asymptotics of natural and artificial atoms in strong magnetic fields

Elliott H. Lieb, Jan Philip Solovej, Jakob Yngvason

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Magnetic fields in terrestrial experiments have only tiny effects on the ground-state properties of conventional atoms. The reason is that the natural atomic unit for magnetic field strength, B0 = m2 e 3 c/h = 2.35 x 105 Tesla, is enormous compared with laboratory fields, which are seldom larger than 10 T. Here m denotes the electron mass, e the elementary charge, and h and c have their usual meaning. The unit B0 is the field strength B at which the magnetic length lb = (hc/(eB))1/2 (∼ cyclotron radius for an electron in the lowest Landau level) is equal to the Bohr radius a0 = h/(me2). Equivalently, at B = B0 the Landau energy hωB with ωb - eB/(mc) the cyclotron frequency, becomes equal to the Rydberg energy e2/a0. For B B0 distortions of ground-state wave functions and energy level shifts due to the magnetic field will therefore be small, and their standard treatment by means of perturbation theory is completely adequate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Stability of Matter
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Atoms to Stars: Fourth Edition
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)3540420835, 9783540222125
StatePublished - 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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