Sep 21st 2015

Atomic and Optical Physics I - Part 1: Resonance (edX)

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First part of a course in modern atomic and optical physics: the physics of resonances, a central theme in atomic physics.

This is the first 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 first module, 8.421.1x, introduces resonance as an overarching theme of the course. You will deepen your understanding of the physics of resonance by examining systems using both classical and quantum techniques. Of special importance is the precession of a magnetic moments in time-dependent magnetic fields.

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