Physics and astronomy

Atom Light Interactions

Module code: 897F3
Level 7 (Masters)
15 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Lecture
Assessment modes: Coursework, Open examination

The module deals with the interaction of atoms with electromagnetic radiation. Starting from the classical Lorentz model, the relevant physical processes are discussed systematically. This includes the interaction of classical radiation with two-level atoms and the full quantum model of atom light interactions. Applications such as light forces on atoms and lasers are explored.


Level 5:(F3239) Quantum Mechanics 1 [T2]
Level 6: (F3225) Quantum Mechanics 2 [T2]

Module learning outcomes

  • Qualitative understanding of the quantum mechanical model of the atom.
  • Familiarity with the classical description of light and the quantum theory of light.
  • Ability to apply classical, semiclassical and quantum concepts to the interaction of atoms and light.
  • Knowledge of applications of light-matter interactions, such as the laser and atom traps.