Atomic, Molecular and Laser Physics

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Atomic, Molecular and Laser Physics

Instructor: Dr. [Sabieh Anwar] Office hours: will be announced shortly.

Teaching Fellow: [Shahid Sattar] Office hours: Tuesday, Thursday (11:00 am to 1:30 pm)

Textbooks: There is no single prescribed textbook. Use lecture notes and the supplementary books provided in the course outline below.

Click here for the course outline.

Here is the weblink for the same course I taught in Fall 2010.


  • Spin spectroscopy
  • Zeeman Hamiltonian
  • NMR and ESR spectra
  • Spin dynamics inside a magnetic field
  • Bloch sphere and evolution of spin states
  • Rotation operator and Rabi flopping
  • Rotating wave approximation
  • On-resonance and off-resonance effects
  • Quadrature detection

Suggested Reading: Spin Dynamics by M. Levitt, Ch. 1-5

Homework No. 1
Spin Dynamics
HW Solution

Interaction of radiation and matter

  • Using time-dependent perturbation theory to obtain transition rates between levels
  • Concepts of: Rabi flopping, transition matrix elements, electric dipole operator, rotating wave approximation
  • Fermi's golden rule
  • Interaction of matter with thermal radiation and comparison with coherent Rabi oscillations
  • Einsten's A and B coefficients
  • Lineshapes and broadening mechanisms
  • Eignefunctions of the one-electron atoms
  • Quantum statistics and indistinguishability
  • Bose-Einstein condensation
  • Laser cooling
  • Magneto optical trap (MOT)

Suggested Reading: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics by Griffiths, Ch. 9, Atomic Physics by C.J. Foot, Ch 7
Quantum Physics of Atoms, Molecules, Solids, Nuclei, and Particles by Eisberg and Resnick, Ch. 11

Practice questions
Transitions between energy levels

Homework No. 2
Transitions between energy levels, Due date: Oct. 29, 2011

Homework No. 3
Bose-Einstein condensation, Due date: Nov. 11, 2011
HW Solution

Midterm Examination
Question paper
Formula sheet
Solution set

Atomic Spectroscopy: fine structure of hydrogen atom

Suggested Reading: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics by Griffiths, Section 6.3.

Homework No. 4
Atomic spectroscopy and fine structure of hydrogen, Due date: Nov. 23, 2011
HW Solution

Atoms inside magnetic fields and role of nucleus in the spectrum

  • Zeeman effect: strong and weak field cases
  • Using degenerate perturbation theory for intermediate magnetic fields
  • Hyperfine interaction
  • Here is a chart showing Clebsch-Gordan coefficients. Useful for the application of degenerate perturbation theory for determining the Zeeman shifted energy levels.
  • Determination of Zeeman shifted states for n=2: PDf version of a Mathematica file. Email me to obtain the Mathematica notebook.

Suggested Reading: Introduction to Quantum Mechanics by Griffiths, Sections 6.4 and 6.5.

Homework No. 5
Zeeman effect and hyperfine interaction
HW Solution

Molecular spectroscopy

  • Rotational spectroscopy
  • Vibrational spectroscopy
  • Raman scattering
  • Fluorescence

Final Examination from the year 2010 (Practice questions)
The first four questions are relevant to this year.
Question paper
Solution set

Final Exam

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