Dec 14th 2015

Atomic and Optical Physics I - Part 4: Atom-Light Interactions 2: Line Broadening and Two-Photon Transitions (edX)

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Fourth part of a course in modern atomic and optical physics: the physics of line shapes and two-photon transitions.

This is the fourth 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 fourth module, 8.421.4x, includes a comprehensive discussion of line broadening effects, including Doppler effect, sidebands for trapped particles, power broadening, and effects of interactions and collisions. The concept of two-photon transitions is relevant for Raman processes and light scattering.

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 lineshapes and two-photon transitions, including:

- The method of separated oscillatory fields

- Doppler and recoil shifts

- Spectral broadening

- Doppler and pressure broadening

- Stimulated and spontaneous Raman scattering