Atomic and Optical Physics I

Course Description

This is the first of a two-semester subject sequence that provides the foundations for contemporary research in selected areas of atomic and optical physics. Topics covered include the interaction of radiation with atoms: resonance; absorption, stimulated and spontaneous emission; methods of resonance, dressed atom formalism, masers and lasers, cavity quantum electrodynamics; structure of simple atoms, behavior in very strong fields; fundamental tests: time reversal, parity violations, Bell's inequalities; and experimental methods.

MAIN TOPICS:
- The two-state systems: Resonance
- Atoms—electronic structure
- Helium atom
- Fine structure and Lamb shift
- Hyperfine structure; Magnetic fields
- Atoms in electric fields
- Interaction of an Atom with an Electro-Magnetic Field
- Einstein's A and B coefficient
- Saturation of transitions
- Line shapes
- Two-photon transitions
- Coherence
- Dicke superradiance

Copyright Information

Wolfgang Ketterle. 8.421 Atomic and Optical Physics I, Spring 2014. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), http://ocw.mit.edu (Accessed 3 Apr, 2016). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA
Atomic and Optical Physics I
Magnetic moment precessing in a magnetic field. Atoms are often described as two-level systems, and their dynamics is identical to a magnetic moment driven by time-dependent magnetic fields. (Courtesy of Prof. Wolfgang Ketterle).
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