Cavity QED level shifts of simple atoms
We have made a quantitative study of quantum electrodynamic corrections to the energy of some simple atoms near a metallic surface. (i) The two-level atom provides a basic framework within which we discuss the van der Waals, Casimir, and resonant radiative level shifts. In this discussion we show that the level shifts of an excited atom are substantially different from those of a classical dipole antenna. (ii) We calculate the possible cavity QED corrections to the n=2 and n=1 hydrogen Lamb-shift measurements and obtain results that disagree with the published literature. (iii) We find a general expression for the shifts of the lowest S and P levels of alkali-metal atoms near a conducting surface. These might be studied in the laboratory as a test of cavity QED.