Physics 138, Spring 2005

Atomic Physics

When and where: TuTh 12:30-2P, 51 EVANS; from TUESDAY, 01/25/05: 0433 LATIMER

Format: two 1.5-hr class meetings per week (student participation strongly encouraged); discussion on individual basis (by appointment)

Instructor: Associate Professor Dmitry Budker

Office hour: Teusdays, 2-3, or by appointment; in 273 Birge

Course credit will be given on the basis of the homework (50%) and oral presentations (50%). Each student is required to make at least one presentation during the semester; more presentations are encouraged! A brief one-page (professionally formatted and edited) abstract of the presentation should be turned in at the time of presentation. Please include the presenter's name and the date of the presentation in the abstract. The abstract should be composed as if it was for a talk to be presented at the American Physical Society meeting, and should give your colleagues a convincing reason to attend your talk. It should contain important key-words that will help them identify the subject area of your research and the most important result(s) to be presented.

Synopsis and goals of the course:
The course will provide an introduction to and overview of the the vast field of modern atomic physics. It will start with a review of basic properties of atoms (such as, for example, state classification and angular momenta), and the interactions of atoms with light. We will then move on to discussing "hot" topics, such as, for example, laser cooling, Bose-Einstein condensation, atomic parity violation, etc., with a choice of specific topics determined by the mutual interests of the audience and the instructor. Initially, I anticipate that the following themes will be touched upon most extensively:

Tentative course outline:

1. Introduction and Review 6 hours

Hydrogenic Atoms; theory of angular momentum; many-electron systems; Zeeman and Stark effects; fine structure; hyperfine structure; isotope shifts; Lamb shift.

2. Emission and Absorption of Radiation 6 hours

E1, M1, E2 Multipoles; spontaneous emission; stimulated emission and absorption; line width.

3. Atomic Beams and Magnetic Resonance 3 hours

4. Lasers 6 hours

Basic principles; tunable lasers; non-linear optics.

5. Laser Spectroscopy 8 hours

Linear spectroscopy: fluorescence, photo-ionization, absorption; optical pumping; non-linear spectroscopy: 2-photon processes, saturation spectroscopy; linear and non-linear Faraday rotation.

6. Laser Cooling and Trapping 7 hours

7. Fundamental Symmetries 8 hours

Parity violation in atoms; search for P- and T- odd effects (electric dipole moments).

8. Student Conference (Final Examination) 5 hours

We might opt to have student presenatations throughout the semester

Required text: Foot, C.J., ATOMIC PHYSICS, Oxford

Recommended texts (general):

  1. Bransden & Joachain, PHYSICS OF ATOMS AND MOLECULES, 2nd edition, Longman
  2. D. Budker, D. F. Kimball, and D. P. DeMille, Atomic Physics. An Exploration through Problems and Solutions, Oxford University Press, 2004 [ISBN:0198509499, 0198509502 (pbk.); Physics QC776 .B83 2004)] (Click here)

Recommended texts (good textbooks on specific subfields):

  1. C. Cohen-Tannoudji, Atoms in Electromagnetic Fields, 2nd ed., World Scientific, 2004.

Physics (and not-quite-physics) bed-time reading:

  1. Charles H. Townes, How the Laser Happened: Adventures of a Scientist, Oxford University Press, 1999 (ISBN: 0195122682)
  2. Seabrook, W. Doctor Wood, Modern Wizard of the Laboratory. New York, Harcourt, Brace and company, 1941 (Physics Library QC16.W6 S4)
  3. Margarita Ryutova-Kemoklidze, The Quantum Generation: Highlights and Tragedies of the Golden Age of Physics, Springer Verlag, 1995 (ISBN: 0387532986)
  4. Segrè, Emilio. A Mind Always in Motion: The Autobiography of Emilio Segre. Berkeley: University of California Press, c1993.

News flash!

Seminars and Colloquia

Lecture Notes, Viewgraphs, Electronic Tutorials

Assorted Physics-Related Links, Web Resources

Individual research topics and presentations:


Acknowledgment and Disclaimer: This material is based in part upon work supported by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recomendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation (NSF).