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Atomic and Optical Physics I– Part 3: Atom-Light Interactions 1 -- Matrix elements and quantized field - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Third part of a course in modern atomic and optical physics: the physics of interactions of atoms with an electromagnetic field. With this course you earn while you learn, you gain recognized qualifications, job specific skills and knowledge and this helps you stand out in the job market.

Important information

Requirements: A two-semester sequence in Quantum Mechanics at the level of MIT 8.05 and 8.06. Completion of 8.421.1x, 8.421.2x.  


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What I would highlight quantum optics state interaction i want know all thing about interaction field and two level atom

What could be improved Everything OK.

Course taken: April 2015 | Recomendarías este centro? Sí.

What you'll learn on the course

GCSE Physics
Optical Physics

Course programme

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This is the third of five modules to introduce concepts and current frontiers of atomic physics and to prepare you for cutting-edge research:

8.421.1x: Resonance

8.421.2x: Atomic structure and atoms in external field

8.421.3x: Atom-Light Interactions 1 -- Matrix elements and quantized field

8.421.4x: Atom-Light interactions 2 --  Line broadening and two-photon transitions

8.421.5x: Coherence

The third module, 8.421.3x, covers how atoms interact with light. First, dipole and higher order couplings are introduced, and concrete examples for selection rules and matrix elements are given. After quantizing the electromagnetic field and introducing photons, the Jaynes-Cummings model and vacuum Rabi oscillations are presented. Coherent and incoherent time evolution are discussed, also in the framework of Einstein's A and B coefficients.

At MIT, the content of the five modules makes the first of a two-semester sequence (8.421 and 8.422) for graduate students interested in Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics. This sequence is required for Ph.D. students doing research in this field.

In these modules you will learn about the interaction of radiation with atoms: resonance; absorption, stimulated and spontaneous emission; methods of resonance, dressed atom formalism, masers and lasers, cavity quantum electrodynamics; structure of simple atoms, behavior in very strong fields; fundamental tests: time reversal, parity violations, Bell's inequalities; and experimental methods.

Completing the two-course sequence allows you to pursue advanced study and research in cold atoms, as well as specialized topics in condensed matter physics.

What you'll learn

Physics of interactions of atoms with an electromagnetic field, including:

  • spontaneous and stimulated emission
  • quantization of the radiation field
  • absorption and emission
  • line strengths
  • excitation by narrow and broadband light sources
  • selection rules

Additional information

Wolfgang Ketterle Wolfgang Ketterle has been the John D. MacArthur professor of physics at MIT since 1998. He received a diploma (equivalent to master’s degree) from the Technical University of Munich (1982), and the Ph.D. in physics from the University of Munich (1986). He did postdoctoral work at the Max-Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching and at the University of Heidelberg in molecular spectroscopy and combustion diagnostics. In 1990, he came to MIT as a postdoc and joined the physics faculty in 1993. Since 2006, he is the director of the Center of Ultracold Atoms, an NSF funded research center, and Associate Director of the Research Laboratory of Electronics. His research group studies properties of ultracold atomic matter.