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PHY2202H S
Atomic and Molecular Physics

Official description

This is a graduate course on atomic and molecular physics. The goal is to develop an understanding of the structure of atoms and molecules, to shed light on how and why they are used in modern AMO research.

The course is aimed at experimental AMO graduate students, but all are welcome. The course will assume you have a strong background in graduate-level electromagnetism and that you are fluent in topics from PHY 2203 (Quantum Optics I).

Course content:

  • Atoms & molecules as strongly interacting many-body systems.

Angular momentum and parity. Selection rules.

  • Multipole moments. Energy level shifts due to electric and magnetic fields.
  • Spontaneous emission. Branching ratios. Cycling transitions and repumps. Laser cooling.
  • One-electron atoms. Relativistic quantum mechanics. Hydrogenic atoms, Rydberg atoms, alkalis.
  • Many electron atoms. Helium, alkaline earths. The rest of the periodic table. Heuristics for many electron atoms (Aufbau principle, Hund’s rules). LS- & jj-coupling.
  • Overview of computational methods for many electron atoms.

Hartree-Fock. Configuration Interaction.

  • Diatomic molecules: scattering states. Atomic collisions. Collisional resonances. Numerical calculation of potential energy curves.
  • Polyatomic molecules and other topics (if time permits).
course title
PHY2202H S
specialized course
time and location

Delivery Methods

In Person

A course is considered In Person if it requires attendance at a specific location and time for some or all course activities.*.

* Subject to adjustments imposed by public health requirements for physical distancing.

Online - Synchronous
A course is considered Online Synchronous if online attendance is expected at a specific time for some or all course activities, and attendance at a specific location is not expected for any activities or exams.
A course is considered Asynchronous if it has no requirement for attendance at a specific time or location for any activities or exams.