Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


This work represents the first test of non-relativistic, relativistic, and quantum electrodynamic calculations for two-electron systems using a high precision measurement of the 2{dollar}\sp1{dollar}S-2{dollar}\sp1{dollar}P interval of a heliumlike ion. The method of laser resonance spectroscopy on a fast ion beam of ions was used to measure the 1s2s{dollar}\sp1{dollar}S{dollar}\sb0{dollar}-1s2p{dollar}\sp1{dollar}P{dollar}\sb1{dollar} interval of heliumlike beryllium to be 16276.774(9) cm{dollar}\sp{lcub}-1{rcub}{dollar}. Absolute frequency calibration was provided by the iodine atlas of Gerstenkorn and Luc. This result is in excellent agreement with both theory and previous experiment with an improvement in experimental precision by a factor of 11.;The measurement of the width of the observed laser resonance yields a lower bound of 7.1(5) ps on the lifetime of the 2{dollar}\sp1{dollar}P state. Careful analysis and modelling of the observed lineshape shows that the lineshape is completely understood and suggests a lifetime which is compatible with theory.;Another related experiment is proposed to measure the 1s2s{dollar}\sp3{dollar}S{dollar}\sb1{dollar}-1s2p{dollar}\sp3{dollar}P{dollar}\sb{lcub}\rm J{rcub}{dollar} intervals in Be scIII using the same experimental technique. The analogous 2{dollar}\sp1{dollar}S-2{dollar}\sp1{dollar}P and 2{dollar}\sp3{dollar}S-2{dollar}\sp3{dollar}P intervals of heliumlike boron are also suggested as future experimental systems for tests of atomic structure theory.



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