05-305 J. Froehlich, M. Griesemer, B. Schlein
Rayleigh Scattering at Atoms with Dynamical Nuclei (677K, PostScript) Sep 5, 05
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Abstract. Scattering of photons at an atom with a dynamical nucleus is studied on the subspace of states of the system with a total energy below the threshold for ionization of the atom (Rayleigh scattering). The kinematics of the electron and the nucleus is chosen to be non-relativistic, and their spins are neglected. In a simplified model of a hydrogen atom or a one-electron ion interacting with the quantized radiation field in which the helicity of photons is neglected and the interactions between photons and the electron and nucleus are turned off at very high photon energies and at photon energies below an arbitrarily small, but fixed energy (infrared cutoff), asymptotic completeness of Rayleigh scattering is established rigorously. On the way towards proving this result, it is shown that, after coupling the electron and the nucleus to the photons, the atom still has a stable ground state, provided its center of mass velocity is smaller than the velocity of light; but its excited states are turned into resonances. The proof of asymptotic completeness then follows from extensions of a positive commutator method and of propagation estimates for the atom and the photons developed in previous papers. The methods developed in this paper can be extended to more realistic models. It is, however, not known, at present, how to remove the infrared cutoff.

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