(Phys.org)—A cornerstone of physics may require a rethink if findings at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are confirmed. Recent experiments suggest that the most rigorous predictions based on the fundamental theory of electromagnetism—one of the four fundamental forces in the universe, and harnessed in all electronic devices—may not accurately account for the behavior of atoms in exotic, highly charged states.
"What the NIST experiment
found is interesting enough that it merits attention," says Jonathan
Sapirstein, a professor of physics at the University of Notre Dame.
"Independent calculations should be done to confirm the theory, and
other experiments should also confirm the findings. However, if no
errors are found in the theory and the NIST experiment is correct, some
physics outside of QED must be present."
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2012-11-fundamental-electromagnetism.html#jCp