Publication at Faculty of Mathematics and Physics |

2018

The complete relativistic O(alpha(2)) nuclear structure correction to the energy levels of ordinary (electronic) and muonic hydrogenlike atoms is investigated. The elastic part of the nuclear structure correction is derived analytically.

The resulting formula is valid for an arbitrary hydrogenic system and is much simpler than analogous expressions previously reported in the literature. The analytical result is verified by high-precision numerical calculations.

The inelastic O(alpha(2)) nuclear structure correction is derived for the electronic and muonic deuterium atoms. The correction comes from a three-photon exchange between the nucleus and the bound lepton and has not been considered in the literature so far.

We demonstrate that in the case of deuterium, the inelastic three-photon-exchange contribution is of a similar size and of the opposite sign to the corresponding elastic part and, moreover, cancels exactly the model dependence of the elastic part. The obtained results affect the determination of nuclear charge radii from the Lamb shift in ordinary and muonic atoms.