Course Coordinator: 
Síle Nic Chormaic
Advances in Atomic Physics for Quantum Technologies

Advanced level course in atomic physics.   Progress in laser control of atoms has led to the creation of Bose-Einstein condensates, ultrafast time and frequency standards and the ability to develop quantum technologies. In this course we will cover the essentials of atomic physics including resonance phenomena, atoms in electric and magnetic fields, and light-matter interactions.   This leads to topics relevant in current research such as laser cooling and trapping.

To introduce students to recent advances in atomic physics for quantum technologies
Course Content: 
  1. Early atomic physics
  2. The hydrogen atom and atomic transitions
  3. Helium and the alkali atoms
  4. LS coupling
  5. Hyperfine structure
  6. Atom interactions with radiation
  7. Laser spectroscopy
  8. Laser cooling and trapping
  9. Bose-Einstein condensation
  10. Fermionic quantum Gases
  11. Atom interferometry
  12. Ion traps
  13. Practical elements: Laser spectroscopy
  14. Practical elements: Laser cooling of Rb
  15. Applications: Quantum computing
  16. Practical Exercises: presentations, laboratory exercises on light-matter interactions
Course Type: 
Continuous Assessment: 40%, Midterm Exams: 2 x 15%, Final Exam, 30%.
Text Book: 
  • No single textbook will be used during this course.
Reference Book: 
  • Advances in Atomic Physics: An Overview by Cl. Cohen-Tannoudji and D. Guéry-Odelin (2011) World Scientific
  • Atomic Physics by C.J. Foot (2013) Oxford
  • Introductory Quantum Optics by C.C. Gerry and P. L. Knight (2005) Cambridge
Prior Knowledge: 

Alternate years course: next in AY2023 and AY2025

There is a cap of 10 enrollments due to lab space restrictions.

Required online training before commencing lab classes:
Laser Safety, Chemical Handling, Waste Disposal.