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Atomic and Optical Physics I – Part 2: Atomic structure and atoms in external field - Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Second part of a course in modern atomic and optical physics: the structure of atoms, and how they behave in static electromagnetic fields. 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.

Informazioni importanti

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


Dove e quando

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Tushar Swain
Il meglio Magnificent instructional classes. Much obliged to edx and MIT for conveying a Nobel laureate to general understudies like us. PHYSICS ROCKS.

Da migliorare N/A.

Corso realizzato: Dicembre 2016 | Recomendarías este centro? Sí.
Saurabh Dubey
Il meglio I feel its great endeavour and start that will be exceptionally helpfull for understudies in future. This will surely bring our insight up in the imperative part of physics.

Da migliorare Nothing.

Corso realizzato: Dicembre 2016 | Recomendarías este centro? Sí.

Cosa impari in questo corso?

GCSE Physics
Optical Physics
Atomic stucture


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This is the second 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 second module, 8.421.2x, describes atomic structure, including electronic levels, fine structure, hyperfine structure and Lamb shift.  You will then learn about how electric and magnetic fields shift atomic levels. The discussion of time-dependent electric fields prepares you for the interactions of atoms with light and for the dressed atom picture.

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

  • The structure of atoms, and how atoms behave in static magnetic and electric fields
  • The fine structure and the Lamb shift
  • Effects of the nucleus on atomic structure

Ulteriori informazioni

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.