Ab initio calculation of nuclear-structure corrections in muonic atoms

C. Ji*, S. Bacca, N. Barnea, O. J. Hernandez, N. Nevo Dinur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The measurement of the Lamb shift in muonic hydrogen and the subsequent emergence of the proton radius puzzle have motivated an experimental campaign devoted to measuring the Lamb shift in other light muonic atoms, such as muonic deuterium and helium. For these systems it has been shown that two-photon exchange nuclear-structure corrections are the largest source of uncertainty and consequently the bottle-neck for exploiting the experimental precision to extract the nuclear charge radius. Utilizing techniques and methods developed to study electromagnetic reactions in light nuclei, recent calculations of nuclear-structure corrections to the muonic Lamb shift have reached unprecedented precision, reducing the uncertainty with respect to previous estimates by a factor of 5 in certain cases. These results will be useful for shedding light on the nature of the proton radius puzzle and other open questions pertaining to it. Here, we review and update calculations for muonic deuterium and tritium atoms, and for muonic helium-3 and helium-4 ions. We present a thorough derivation of the formalism and discuss the results in relation to other approaches where available. We also describe how to assess theoretical uncertainties, for which the language of chiral effective field theory furnishes a systematic approach that could be further exploited in the future.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number093002
JournalJournal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics
Issue number9
StatePublished - 13 Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

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© 2018 IOP Publishing Ltd.


  • Muonic atoms
  • few-nucleon dynamics
  • two-photon exchange


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