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Atoms and Molecules Interacting with Light
Atomic Physics for the Laser Era


  • Date Published: February 2016
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107090149

£ 43.99

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About the Authors
  • This in-depth textbook with a focus on atom-light interactions prepares students for research in a fast-growing and dynamic field. Intended to accompany the laser-induced revolution in atomic physics, it is a comprehensive text for the emerging era in atomic, molecular and optical science. Utilising an intuitive and physical approach, the text describes two-level atom transitions, including appendices on Ramsey spectroscopy, adiabatic rapid passage and entanglement. With a unique focus on optical interactions, the authors present multi-level atomic transitions with dipole selection rules, and M1/E2 and multiphoton transitions. Conventional structure topics are discussed in some detail, beginning with the hydrogen atom and these are interspersed with material rarely found in textbooks such as intuitive descriptions of quantum defects. The final chapters examine modern applications and include many references to current research literature. The numerous exercises and multiple appendices throughout enable advanced undergraduate and graduate students to balance theory with experiment.

    • Provides a complete introduction to the emerging laser era in atomic, molecular and optical science
    • Focusing on intuitive and descriptive presentations of theory enables students to maximise their understanding of the topic
    • Includes applications and useful calculations as appendices to the relevant chapter to ensure easy access to useful contextual information
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Two experienced pedagogues and researchers on laser cooling and trapping and quantum hydrodynamics have written a rigorous textbook for advanced undergraduates and graduate students. The work provides a comprehensive description of the fundamentals and of the awe-inspiring recent advances in atomic and molecular physics, such as the theory and the experimental techniques of Bose–Einstein condensation, laser cooling, and optical lattices. The authors point out common misconceptions in atomic physics, e.g. about 'virtual states', resonances, and the vector potential. Each chapter is augmented with supplementary materials and exercises which assess comprehension and further the understanding of the content. … Detailed tables and plots of experimental data permit the numerical calculation of physical parameters. The exact quantum mechanical solutions to a few physical problems are derived as well as the various useful approximations for atoms and molecules, and their limitations are clearly explained.' Barry R. Masters, Optics and Photonics News

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107090149
    • length: 527 pages
    • dimensions: 253 x 180 x 27 mm
    • weight: 1.18kg
    • contains: 160 b/w illus. 31 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Atom-Light Interaction:
    1. The classical physics pathway
    Appendix 1A. Damping force on an accelerating charge
    Appendix 1B. Hanle effect
    Appendix 1C. Optical tweezers
    2. Interaction of two-level atoms and light
    Appendix 2A. Pauli matrices for motion of the bloch vector
    Appendix 2B. The Ramsey method
    Appendix 2C. Echoes and interferometry
    Appendix 2D. Adiabatic rapid passage
    Appendix 2E Superposition and entanglement
    3. The atom-light interaction
    Appendix 3A. Proof of the oscillator strength theorem
    Appendix 3B. Electromagnetic fields
    Appendix 3C. The dipole approximation
    Appendix 3D. Time resolved fluorescence from multi-level atoms
    4. 'Forbidden' transitions
    Appendix 4A. Higher order approximations
    5. Spontaneous emission
    Appendix 5A. The quantum mechanical harmonic oscillator
    Appendix 5B. Field quantization
    Appendix 5C. Alternative theories to QED
    6. The density matrix
    Appendix 6A. The Liouville–von Neumann equation
    Part II. Internal Structure:
    7. The hydrogen atom
    Appendix 7A. Center-of-mass motion
    Appendix 7B. Coordinate systems
    Appendix 7C. Commuting operators
    Appendix 7D. Matrix elements of the radial wavefunctions
    8. Fine structure
    Appendix 8A. The Sommerfeld fine-structure constant
    Appendix 8B. Measurements of the fine structure 9. Effects of the nucleus
    Appendix 9A. Interacting magnetic dipoles
    Appendix 9B. Hyperfine structure for two spin =2 particles
    Appendix 9C. The hydrogen maser
    10. The alkali-metal atoms
    Appendix 10A. Quantum defects for the alkalis
    Appendix 10B. Numerov method
    11. Atoms in magnetic fields
    Appendix 11A. The ground state of atomic hydrogen
    Appendix 11B. Positronium
    Appendix 11C. The non-crossing theorem
    Appendix 11D. Passage through an anticrossing: Landau–Zener transitions
    12. Atoms in electric fields
    13. Rydberg atoms
    14. The helium atom
    Appendix 14A. Variational calculations
    Appendix 14B. Detail on the variational calculations of the ground state
    15. The periodic system of the elements
    Appendix 15A. Paramagnetism
    Appendix 15B. The color of gold
    16. Molecules
    Appendix 16A. Morse potential
    17. Binding in the hydrogen molecule
    Appendix 17A. Confocal elliptical coordinates
    Appendix 17B. One-electron two-center integrals
    Appendix 17C. Electron-electron interaction in molecular hydrogen
    18. Ultra-cold chemistry
    Part III. Applications:
    19. Optical forces and laser cooling
    20. Confinement of neutral atoms
    21. Bose–Einstein condensation
    Appendix 21A. Distribution functions
    Appendix 21B. Density of states
    22. Cold molecules
    23. Three level systems
    Appendix 23A. General case for _1 , _2
    24. Fundamental physics
    Part IV. Appendices: Appendix A. Notation and definitions
    Appendix B. Units and notation
    Appendix C. Angular momentum in quantum mechanics
    Appendix D. Transition strengths

  • Authors

    Peter van der Straten, Universiteit Utrecht, The Netherlands
    Peter van der Straten is Professor of Nanophotonics at Utrecht University where his research interests focus on Bose–Einstein condensation and quantum hydrodynamics. He is head of the Teaching Advisory Committee of the Physics Department and a member of the Dutch Physical Society.

    Harold Metcalf, State University of New York, Stony Brook
    Harold Metcalf is Distinguished Teaching Professor at Stony Brook University. He has been awarded the Humboldt Prize in recognition of his contribution to atomic physics and has received numerous awards for excellence in teaching.

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