course   descriptioN


PHYS 408       (3-0-3)             Atomic Physics


Foundation of atomic theory : introduction, development of the new quantum theory.  Mathematical basis of quantum mechanics: postulates, Hermitian operators, perturbation theory.  Single electron without spin in a central potential:  the case of the Coulomb field, atomic orbital contours, the forms of one-electron wave functions, the non-Coulomb central potential, lifting the degeneracy in p by core penetration.  Radiative transitions (there are also non-radiative transitions):  Einsteinís A and B coefficients, transition probabilities, the electric dipole approximation, selection rules and intensities of spectral lines, autoionization (a non-radiative transition).  Angular momenta and enumeration of the energy levels of a configuration, spin-orbit interaction, angular momentum operators, the effect of the Pauli exclusion principle, Hundís rule, the periodic system, spectroscopic notation, coupling schemes;    L-S and J-J coupling, atom in an external field, normal Zeeman effect and anomalous Zeeman effect, Stark effect, energy shift and Landeí g-factor. Interference and Coherence: introduction, interference of two waves, wavefront-splitting interferometers, amplitude-splitting interferometers, amplitude splitting by thin films, the Fabry-Perot interferometer, applications of interferometry, coherence.  Diffraction: radiation from a coherent line source, Fraunhofer diffraction by one and two narrow slits, multiple narrow slits, the diffraction grating, Fresnel diffraction.


Prerequisite: PHYS 303