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A Student's Guide to Atomic Physics


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  • Author: Mark Fox, University of Sheffield
  • Date Published: June 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108446310

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About the Authors
  • This concise and accessible book provides a detailed introduction to the fundamental principles of atomic physics at an undergraduate level. Concepts are explained in an intuitive way and the book assumes only a basic knowledge of quantum mechanics and electromagnetism. With a compact format specifically designed for students, the first part of the book covers the key principles of the subject, including the quantum theory of the hydrogen atom, radiative transitions, the shell model of multi-electron atoms, spin-orbit coupling, and the effects of external fields. The second part provides an introduction to the four key applications of atomic physics: lasers, cold atoms, solid-state spectroscopy and astrophysics. This highly pedagogical text includes worked examples and end of chapter problems to allow students to test their knowledge, as well as numerous diagrams of key concepts, making it perfect for undergraduate students looking for a succinct primer on the concepts and applications of atomic physics.

    • Worked examples and solutions throughout allow practise in calculating experimentally measurable quantities
    • Physical intuition is highlighted, allowing students to get a clear understanding of the physical processes happening within atoms
    • Written in clear, simple language this is an accessible and pedagogical resource
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Today a thorough understanding of atomic and molecular physics is surely a prerequisite for a career in astrophysics, especially now that the entire electromagnetic spectrum of many astronomical objects may be open to quantitative examination. Given the need for a sound understanding, the question becomes, how are students to develop a serious interest in atomic and molecular physics? This book by Mark Fox deserves consideration for an atomic-physics course taken by physics (and other) students in the second half of their undergraduate career … I welcome this book for its clear exposition of the basic ideas on atomic structure and spectra. … The health of spectroscopic astrophysics demands that young bright minds are brought into the field in every generation. Texts like that by Mark Fox have a crucial role to play in this context.' David L. Lambert, The Observatory

    'Well-chosen worked examples are liberally sprinkled through all the chapters. This is an invaluable aid to the reader … The text is clear to read and understand, and only a basic understanding of quantum mechanics and electromagnetism is required … The harder mathematical concepts are hidden away in Appendices, so they are still available for the more intrepid reader, but do not spoil the flow of the main text … I would agree that the material is pitched at the second or third year of a UK undergraduate physics course, but it would also be useful for specialists in other fields starting out in the world of atomic physics.' Stephen H. Ashworth, Contemporary Physics

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108446310
    • length: 292 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.48kg
    • contains: 83 b/w illus. 27 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    List of symbols
    Part I. Fundamental Principles:
    1. Preliminary concepts
    2. Hydrogen
    3. Radiative transitions
    4. The shell model and alkali spectra
    5. Angular momentum
    6. Helium and exchange symmetry
    7. Fine structure and nuclear effects
    8. External fields: the Zeeman and Stark effects
    Part II. Applications of Atomic Physics:
    9. Stimulated emission and lasers
    10. Cold atoms
    11. Atomic physics applied to the solid state
    12. Atomic physics in astronomy
    Appendix A. The reduced mass
    Appendix B. Mathematical solutions for the hydrogen Schrödinger equation
    Appendix C. Helium energy integrals
    Appendix D. Perturbation theory of the Stark effect
    Appendix E. Laser dynamics

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    A Student's Guide to Atomic Physics

    Mark Fox

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  • Author

    Mark Fox, University of Sheffield
    Mark Fox is a Professor of Physics at the University of Sheffield. He is also a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, and the Institute of Physics. His research focuses on optics and photonics, and he specialises in solid-state atoms and quantum dots. He has authored two highly successful books: Optical Properties of Solids (2nd edition, 2010) and Quantum Optics: An Introduction (2005).

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