Atomic, Molecular & Optical Physics

Course Description:

Introduction to atomic structure, interaction with electromagnetic fields, atomic physics and modern quantum optics.  Applications are made to spectroscopic techniques and to explain the principles of quantum computing and logic.

Course Credits

PH 585:  meets 3 hours per week (MWF for 1 hour)  for a total of 3 credits.

Class meeting time: M, W, F  2:00-2:50 (or 3 hours of lectures weekly)

Prerequisites, Co-requisites and Enforced Prerequisites

Strongly recommended:  PH 451 or PH 652 (or equivalent full-year of quantum mechanics)

Office Hours

Matt Graham

Office: Wngr 375
Phone: (541) 737-4386

Learning Resources

1. Class slides and supplemental instructor notes. Uploaded just after each class.

2.  Physics of Atoms and Molecules(2nd Ed.), B. H. Bransden and C. J. Joachain 
3. Quantum Optics, Mark Fox, Oxford Press (2008).

Course Content

(B=Bransden, Joachain)

Introduces Semiclassical Field-Matter Interactions (weeks 1-3)
Review Atoms in E fields and B fields
Optical Spectroscopy of attoms (weeks 3-4)
Solving for the helium atom and many-electron atoms
Spin-orbit coupling
Absorption and stimulated emission
Linear response theory, Absorption and emission spectroscopy
Molecular spectroscopy (weeks 5)
Born-Oppenheimer approximation: molecular energy levels
IR and Raman spectroscopy: rotational and vibrational spectroscopy
Modern AMO Topics (weeks 6-10)
Coherent field-matter interactions, Rabi flopping
Quantum computing, logic gates
Quantum teleportation, EPR paradox
Lasers and cavities

Learning Outcomes

By the completion of this course students are expected to:
1. Calculate the absorption probability for an optical transition.
2. Calculate the absorption coefficient for a classical electron oscillator using linear response theory.
3. Explain the vibrational spectra of molecules.
4. Calculate the transition rates for a three-level laser system.
5. Proficient in the coherent quantum dynamics of a two-level system
6.  Apply quantum principles to explain the operation of a qubit and a quantum computer.

Evaluation of Student Performance

  • Problem Sets (total) 35%
  • Presentation/Notes 15%
  • Midterm 15%
  • Final 35%

    Grading Scale*

    86-100%:  A                       80-85%:   A-                       77-79%:   B+                      74-76%:   B                       

    70-73%:    B-                      67-69%:   C+                      64-66%:   C                        60-63%:   C-                      

    57-59%:    D+                     54-56%:   D                        50-53%:   D-                       < 50%:      F

*Exact grade cut-offs may vary 1-2%

Academic Calendar
All students are subject to the registration and refund deadlines as stated in the Academic Calendar:

Statement Regarding Students with Disabilities
Accommodations for students with disabilities are determined and approved by Disability Access Services (DAS). If you, as a student, believe you are eligible for accommodations but have not obtained approval please contact DAS immediately at 541-737-4098 or at DAS notifies students and faculty members of approved academic accommodations and coordinates implementation of those accommodations. While not required, students and faculty members are encouraged to discuss details of the implementation of individual accommodations."

Student Conduct Expectations link:

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