• Length:
    4 Weeks
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  • Institution
  • Subject:
  • Level:
    Advanced
  • Language:
    English
  • Video Transcript:
    English

Prerequisites

  • A two-semester sequence in Quantum Mechanics at the level of MIT 8.05 and 8.06.
  • Completion of 8.421.1x, 8.421.2x.
     

About this course

Skip About this course

This is the third 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 third module, 8.421.3x, covers how atoms interact with light. First, dipole and higher order couplings are introduced, and concrete examples for selection rules and matrix elements are given. After quantizing the electromagnetic field and introducing photons, the Jaynes-Cummings model and vacuum Rabi oscillations are presented. Coherent and incoherent time evolution are discussed, also in the framework of Einstein's A and B coefficients.

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.

FAQ

Who can register for this course?

Unfortunately, learners from Iran, Cuba, Sudan and the Crimea region of Ukraine will not be able to register for this course at the present time. While edX has received a license from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to offer courses to learners from Iran and Sudan our license does not cover this course.

Separately, EdX has applied for a license to offer courses to learners in the Crimea region of Ukraine, but we are awaiting a determination from OFAC on that application. We are deeply sorry the U.S. government has determined that we have to block these learners, and we are working diligently to rectify this situation as soon as possible.


Course image uses graphic by SVG by Indolences. Recoloring and ironing out some glitches done by Rainer Klute. [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn

Physics of interactions of atoms with an electromagnetic field, including:

  • spontaneous and stimulated emission
  • quantization of the radiation field
  • absorption and emission
  • line strengths
  • excitation by narrow and broadband light sources
  • selection rules

Meet your instructors

Isaac Chuang
Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Professor of Physics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
David E. Pritchard
Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics
MIT
Wolfgang Ketterle
John D. MacArthur Professor of Physics
MIT

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