8.421 | Spring 2014 | Graduate

Atomic and Optical Physics I


Along with the book recommendations, there are some reading assignments for the course.

Book Recommendations

Textbook: There was no textbook. The course was based on several books and original publications.

Books used to prepare this course and 8.422 Atomic and Optical Physics II are:

Foot, Christopher J., Atomic Physics. Oxford University Press, 2005. ISBN: 9780198506966.  
This is an excellent text on atomic structure, laser cooling and trapping at an undergraduate level which is below the treatment in class, but it provides the basics.

Inguscio, Massimo, and Fallani, Leonardo. Atomic Physics: Precise Measurements and Ultracold Matter. Oxford University Press, 2013. ISBN: 9780198525844. [Preview with Google Books]  
This text covers the structure of hydrogen, helium, alkali atoms, and alkali earth atoms, laser cooling, Bose-Einstein condensation and optical lattices. It reflects the research interests of the Florence group in precision measurements and ultracold matter.

Loudon, Rodney. The Quantum Theory of Light. Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN: 9780198501763.

Weissbluth, Mitchel. Photon-Atom Interactions. Academic Press, 1989. ISBN: 9780127436609. [Preview with Google Books]

Dalibard, J., J. M. Raimond, and J. Zinn-Justin, eds. Proceeding of the Summer School in Les Houches 1990: Fundamental Systems in Quantum Optics. (Les Houches) Session LIII, 1990. North Holland, 1993. ISBN: 9780444897367.

Arimondo, E., W. D. Phillips, and F. Strumia, eds. Proceeding of the Summer School in Varenna 1991: “Enrico Fermi.” In Laser Manipulation of Atoms and Ions, Proceedings of the International School of Physics Course CXVIII. North-Holland, 1993. ISBN: 9780444899934.

Cohen-Tannoudji, Claude. Atoms in Electromagnetic Fields. World Scientific, 2005. ISBN: 9789812389428. [Preview with Google Books] (Selected Original Papers of C. -T.)

Allen, L., and J. H. Eberly. Optical Resonance and Two-level Atoms. Dover Publication, 1987. ISBN: 9780486655338. [Preview with Google Books]  
Covers some more special topics very well: Bloch Equations, Pulse Propagation, Echoes, Superradiance.

Demtröder, W. Laser Spectroscopy. Springer, 2002. ISBN: 9783540652250. [Preview with Google Books]  
Almost encyclopedic book on lasers, spectroscopic instruments and techniques, and all relevant methods of spectroscopy - lots of references, very useful.

Svelto, O. Principle of Lasers. Springer, 2009. ISBN: 9780306457487.  
Mainly on lasers (Basic Principles, Resonators, Types of Lasers), but nice short discussions of coherence and other concepts.

Svanberg, S. Atomic and Molecular Spectroscopy: Basic Aspects and Practical Applications. Springer, 1997. ISBN: 9780198511380. [Preview with Google Books]  
A lot of similar topics as Demtröder’s book, but less detailed. A longer chapter on applications of laser spectroscopy.

Corney, A. Atomic and Laser Spectroscopy. Oxford University Press, 1977. ISBN: 9780198511380.  
This book is on atoms, discusses hyperfine structure, selection rules and other effects in detail, and gives many examples of techniques and experiments. Gives a very good impression of the state of experimental atomic physics in the ‘70s.

Thorne, A.P. Spectrophysics. Chapman and Hall, 1974. ISBN: 9780412125102.  
Nice book on spectroscopy, with some emphasis on classical methods and plasma spectroscopy. Long chapter on line widths and shapes.

Scully, M. O., and M. S. Zubairy. Quantum Optics. Cambridge University Press, 1997. ISBN: 9780521435956. [Preview with Google Books]  
The theory of quantum optics! Detailed treatment of coherence and electromagnetically induced transparency, laser theory.

Suter, D. The physics of Laser-atom Interactions. Cambridge University Press, 1997. ISBN: 9780521462396. [Preview with Google Books]  
Detailed discussion of three-level systems and coherent effects.

The book most relevant to the course (mainly for 8.422) is:  
Cohen-Tannoudji, Claude, Jaques Dupont-Roc, and Gilbert Grynberg. Atom-Photon-Interactions: Basic Processes and Applications. Wiley-VCH, 1998. ISBN: 9780471293361.

Reading Assignments

1-5 Resonance No Readings
5-9 Atoms Kleppner, Daniel. “The Yin and Yang of Hydrogen.” Physics Today 52, no. 4 (1999).
9-12 Atoms in external fields No Readings
12-17 Atom-light interactions

Einstein, A. “On The Quantum Theory of Radiation.” (PDF) Physikalische Zeitschrift 18 (1917).

Kleppner, Daniel. “Rereading Einstein on Radiation.” Physics Today 58, no. 2 (2005): 30–3.

17-20 Line broadening Ramsey, Norman F. “The Method of Successive Oscillatory Fields.” Physics Today 66, no. 1 (2013): 36.
20-21 Two-photon excitation No Readings
21-25 Coherence

Lounis, B., and Cohen-Tannoudji, C. “Coherent Population Trapping and Fano Profiles.” Journal De Physique II France 2, no. 4 (1992): 579–92.

Dicke, R. H. “Coherence in Spontaneous Radiation Processes.” Physical Review 93, no. 1 (1954) :99–110.

Inouye, S., A. P, Chikkatur, et al. “Superradiant Rayleigh Scattering from a Bose-Einstein Condensate.” Science 285, no. 5427 (1999): 571–4.

Course Info

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Spring 2014
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