Stark shifts due to black-body radiation [1]

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The free energy of the system consisting of a harmonically bound electron coupled via dipole interaction with the radiation field is calculated exactly at finite temperature. A temperature-dependent shift in the free energy, Delta F0= pi e2(kT)2/3h(cross)mc3 is identified. The shift in the energy, however, is opposite in sign, in disagreement with previous calculations. It is pointed out that, for weak binding, these results can be applied to a Rydberg electron. The Hollberg-Hall (1984) measurements of the black-body shift in high Rydberg states of rubidium are consistent with these results.

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Journal of Physics B: Atomic and Molecular Physics

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