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.
Peter van der Straten is Professor of Nanophotonics at Utrecht University where his research interests focus on Bose-Einstein condensation and quantum hydrodynamics. He is head of the Teaching Advisory Committee of the Physics Department and a member of the Dutch Physical Society. Harold Metcalf is Distinguished Teaching Professor at Stony Brook University. He has been awarded the Humboldt Prize in recognition of his contribution to atomic physics and has received numerous awards for excellence in teaching.