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MMath&Phys Mathematics and Physics / Course details
Year of entry: 2024
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Course unit details:
|Department of Physics & Astronomy
|Available as a free choice unit?
|Applications of Quantum Physics
|Mathematical Fundamentals of Quantum Mechanics
This course will discuss the physics of atoms and their interactions with radiation, and how these processes are measured. The historical evolution of atomic physics will initially be described, by discussing key experiments and theoretical developments that have lead to our modern understanding of atoms and their structure. New methods in atomic physics will then be discussed, including how they are excited and ionized, and how they can be trapped and cooled to very low temperatures. The application of cold atoms for metrology and for possible future quantum computing will then be detailed.
1. Describe the structure of atoms, and how these are determined in experiments.
2. Detail the processes used to excite and ionize atoms using radiation.
3. Describe how atoms are cooled and trapped to very low temperatures.
4. Explain how cold atoms can be used to measure fundamental constants to high precision.
5. Discuss how cold atoms might be used in future quantum computers.
1. Historical overview of the evolution of atomic physics from early spectroscopy to the modern day. Key experiments and theoretical developments that have led to our present understanding of atoms and their structure. (3 lectures)
2. Interactions of atoms with radiation, and with charged particle beams. (3 lectures)
3. Excitation & ionization processes & how they are measured & described. (2 lectures)
4. The theoretical framework used to describe atom-laser interactions. (4 lectures)
5. Atomic cooling and trapping processes & techniques used for production of cold atoms. (4 lectures)
6. Applications of cold atoms to precision measurements & for future quantum computing. (6 lectures)
Feedback will be available through worked examples during the lectures, with answers available through web pages, and through separate examples & solutions given throughout the course
Blum, K., Density Matrix Theory and Applications
Metcalf J.M. & van der Straten P, Laser Cooling & Trapping
Foot C.J., Atomic Physics
|Scheduled activity hours
|Assessment written exam
|Independent study hours