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Darwin Term comes from the low-energy approximation of the relativistic Dirac equation for hydrogen electron by Charles Darwin and the "Zitterbewegung" effect. Though apparently there is no zitterbewegung in QED, in most hydrogen electron diagrams the Darwin Term and the Lamb Shift are two distinct corrections to the non-relativistic energy levels. Is lamb shift the quantum field correction and more exact calculation of the phenomenon? As it seems both affect orbitals with non-vanishing probability at nucleus and lamb shift will also affect the states with ℓ≠0 when higher orders of the QED corrections are considered.

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  • $\begingroup$ The Darwin term has to do with the quantization of the electron field, the Lamb shift with the quantization of the electromagnetic field. They're separate things. $\endgroup$ – knzhou Sep 13 '19 at 7:36

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