Book recommendations


Text:  There is no text book.  The course is based on several books and original publications.  Lecture notes and additional reading material will be distributed.


The books most relevant to the course are:

·        Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, David Guery-Odelin, Advances in Atomic Physics: An Overview, World Scientific Publishing, Singapore, 2011.
Excellent combination of background theory and recent advances in the field.
From the book cover:
This book presents a comprehensive overview of the spectacular advances seen in atomic physics during the last 50 years. The authors explain how such progress was possible by highlighting connections between developments that occurred at different times. They discuss the new perspectives and the new research fields that look promising. The emphasis is placed, not on detailed calculations, but rather on physical ideas. Combining both theoretical and experimental considerations, the book will be of interest to a wide range of students, teachers and researchers in quantum and atomic physics.

·        Cohen-Tannoudji, Claude, Dupont-Roc, Jaques, and Grynberg, Gilbert, Atom-Photon-Interactions, Basic Processes and Applications, Wiley-Interscience, 1992.
From the book cover:
Atom-Photon Interactions: Basic Processes and Applications allows the reader to master various aspects of the physics of the interaction between light and matter. It is devoted to the study of the interactions between photons and atoms in atomic and molecular physics, quantum optics, and laser physics. The elementary processes in which photons are emitted, absorbed, scattered, or exchanged between atoms are treated in detail and described using diagrammatic representation. The book presents different theoretical approaches, including:
* Perturbative methods
* The resolvent method
* Use of the master equation
* The Langevin equation
* The optical Bloch equations
* The dressed-atom approach
Each method is presented in a self-contained manner so that it may be studied independently. Many applications of these approaches to simple and important physical phenomena are given to illustrate the potential and limitations of each method.

Good atomic physics textbooks:

·        Peter van der Straten; Harold Metcalf, Atoms and Molecules Interacting with Light: Atomic Physics for the Laser Era, Cambridge University Press, 2016.
From the book cover:
This in-depth textbook with a focus on atom-light interactions prepares students for research in a fast-growing and dynamic field. Intended to accompany the laser-induced revolution in atomic physics, it is a comprehensive text for the emerging era in atomic, molecular and optical science. Utilising an intuitive and physical approach, the text describes two-level atom transitions, including appendices on Ramsey spectroscopy, adiabatic rapid passage and entanglement. With a unique focus on optical interactions, the authors present multi-level atomic transitions with dipole selection rules, and M1/E2 and multiphoton transitions. Conventional structure topics are discussed in some detail, beginning with the hydrogen atom and these are interspersed with material rarely found in textbooks such as intuitive descriptions of quantum defects. The final chapters examine modern applications and include many references to current research literature. The numerous exercises and multiple appendices throughout enable advanced undergraduate and graduate students to balance theory with experiment.

·        Foot, Christopher J., Atomic Physics, Oxford University Press, 2005.  This is an excellent text on atomic structure, laser cooling and trapping at an undergraduate level which is below the treatment in class, but it provides the basics.


Books  which I have used to prepare the courses 8.421 and 8.422

·        Inguscio, Massimo, and Fallani, Leonardo, Atomic Physics, Oxford 2013.  This text covers the structure of hydrogen, helium , alkali atoms, and alkali earth atoms, laser cooling, Bose-Einstein condensation and optical lattices.  It reflects the research interests of the Florence group in precision measurements and ultracold matter.

·        Loudon, Rodney, The Quantum Theory of Light, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1973.

·        Weissbluth, Mitchel, Photon-Atom Interactions, Academic Press, 1989.

·        Proceeding of the summer school in Les Houches 1990:
Fundamental Systems in Quantum Optics, Les Houches, Session LIII, 1990, edited by J. Dalibard, J.M. Raimond, and J. Zinn-Justin (Elsevier, 1992)

·        Proceeding of the summer school in Varenna 1991:
Laser Manipulation of Atoms and Ions, Proceedings of the International School of Physics “Enrico Fermi”, Course CXVIII, edited by E. Arimondo, W.D. Phillips, and F. Strumia (North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1992).

·         Cohen-Tannoudji, Claude:  Atoms in Electromagnetic Fields, World Scientific, Singapore, 1994. (Selected original papers of C.-T.).  good collection of articles, reasonably priced; recommended.

·         L Allen and J.H. Eberly, “Optical resonance and two-level atoms” (Dover, New York, 1975): Covers some more special topics very well: Bloch equations, pulse propagation, echoes, superradiance.

·         W. Demtröder, “Laser spectroscopy” (Springer, Berlin, 1996):  Almost encyclopedic book on lasers, spectroscopic instruments and techniques, and all relevant methods of spectroscopy - lots of references, very useful.

·         O. Svelto, “Principle of lasers” (Plenum, New York, 1989):  Mainly on lasers (basic principles, resonators, types of lasers), but nice short discussions of coherence and other concepts.

·         S. Svanberg, “Atomic and Molecular Spectroscopy” (Springer, Berlin, 1997).  A lot of similar topics as Demtröder’s book, but less detailed.  A longer chapter on applications of laser spectroscopy.

·         A. Corney, “Atomic and Laser Spectroscopy” (Clarendon, Oxford, 1977).  This book is on atoms, discusses hyperfine structure, selection rules and other effects in detail, and gives many examples of techniques and experiments.  Gives a very good impression of the state of experimental atomic physics in the ‘70s.

·         A.P. Thorne, “Spectrophysics” (Chapman, London, 1988). Nice book on spectroscopy, with some emphasis on classical methods and plasma spectroscopy.  Long chapter on line widths and shapes.

·         M.O. Scully and M.S. Zubairy, “Quantum Optics” (Cambridge, Cambridge, 1997).  The theory of quantum optics!  Detailed treatment of coherence and electromagnetically induced transparency, laser theory.

·         D. Suter, “The physics of laser-atom interactions”, (Cambridge, Cambridge, 1997).  Detailed discussion of three-level systems and coherent effects.