Modern Atomic and Optical Physics I (PHYSICS 285A)

Susanne Yelin | Fall 2023 | Harvard University
Introduction to modern atomic physics. The fundamental concepts and modern experimental techniques will be introduced. Topics will include: Two-state systems, magnetic resonance, interaction of radiation with atoms, transition probabilities, spontaneous and stimulated emission, dressed atoms, trapping, laser cooling. Structure of simple atoms, coupling to fields, light scattering. Fundamental symmetries and introduction to molecules and artificial atoms. Selected experiments. The first of a two-term subject sequence that provides the foundations for contemporary research.

Lecture Notes

Week 1 - Units & Fundamental Constants / Resonance

Week 2 - Two-level systems

Week 3 - Two-level systems: Bloch sphere and adiabaticity

Week 4 - Open systems; density matrix and master equation

Week 5 - Bohr atom, Rydberg atoms

Week 6 - Rydberg atoms and Dirac equation

Week 7 - Relativistic corrections

Week 8 - Hyperfine structure and interaction with DC fields

Week 9 - Selection Rules and Lineshapes

Week 10 - Many electron atoms and symmetry

Week 11 - Symmetry & Group Theory

Week 12 - Artificial atoms and molecules

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