Lecturer: Martin Lees
Weighting: 10 CATS
The principles of quantum mechanics are applied to a range of phenomena in atomic physics including the operation of a laser. The module also covers perturbation theory and variational methods.
To develop the ideas of quantum theory
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
- Use the approximate methods of quantum theory – perturbation theory (time-dependent and time-independent), variational methods
- Explain the role of spin and the Pauli exclusion principle
- Explain atomic spectra and the structure of the periodic table
- Describe the operation of lasers
Revision of 2nd year quantum theory
Approximation methods in quantum mechanics. Time-independent perturbation theory, non-degenerate case, ground state of helium atom, degenerate case, Stark effect in hydrogen. Variational methods: Rayleigh - Ritz, ground state of helium atom
Spin-orbit coupling and the Zeeman effect. Effects of spin-orbit coupling, and the strong and weak field Zeeman effect using time-independent perturbation theory
Many electron effects-indistinguishability of identical particles. Identical particles and spin; symmetric and anti-symmetric states; discussion of periodic table, ionisation energies
Time-dependent perturbation theory and the lasers. Derivation of Fermi's golden rule; radiation from atoms; operation of the laser including stimulated emission and population inversion. Density matrix and Bloch equations.
Commitment: 20 lectures
Assessment: 1.5 hour examination (85%) + assessed work (15%).