PX3A210 Quantum Physics of Atoms
Introductory description
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.
Module aims
To develop the ideas of quantum theory
Outline syllabus
This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.
Revision of 2nd year quantum theory

Approximation methods in quantum mechanics. Timeindependent perturbation theory, nondegenerate case, ground state of helium atom, degenerate case, Stark effect in hydrogen. Variational methods: Rayleigh  Ritz, ground state of helium atom

Spinorbit coupling and the Zeeman effect. Effects of spinorbit coupling, and the strong and weak field Zeeman effect using timeindependent perturbation theory

Many electron effectsindistinguishability of identical particles. Identical particles and spin; symmetric and antisymmetric states; discussion of periodic table, ionisation energies

Timedependent perturbation theory and lasers. Derivation of Fermi's golden rule; radiation from atoms; operation of the laser. Twolevel driven system near resonance

Twolevel systems. Examples to include some of the ammonia clock, Rabi oscillations, qubits, magnetic resonance
Learning outcomes
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
 Use the approximate methods of quantum theory – perturbation theory (timedependent and timeindependent), variational methods
 Explain the role of spin and the Pauli exclusion principle
 Explain atomic spectra and the structure of the periodic table
 Describe resonance in 2level systems
Indicative reading list
F Mandl, Quantum Mechanics, Wiley;
A.I.M. Rae, Quantum Mechanics, IOP, 2002;
S. Gasiorowicz, Quantum Physics, Wiley, 2003;
S.M. McMurry, Quantum Mechanics, AddisonWesley 1994
View reading list on Talis Aspire
Subject specific skills
Knowledge of mathematics and physics. Skills in modelling, reasoning, thinking.
Transferable skills
Analytical, communication, problemsolving, selfstudy
Study time
Type  Required 

Lectures  20 sessions of 1 hour (20%) 
Private study  80 hours (80%) 
Total  100 hours 
Private study description
Working through lecture notes, solving problems, wider reading, discussing with others taking the module, revising for exam, practising on past exam papers
Costs
No further costs have been identified for this module.
You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.
Assessment group D1
Weighting  Study time  

Coursework  15%  
Tests 

Inperson Examination  85%  
Answer 2 questions

Assessment group R1
Weighting  Study time  

Inperson Examination  Resit  100%  
Answer 2 questions

Feedback on assessment
Personal tutor, group feedback
Courses
This module is Core for:

UPXAFG31 Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (MMathPhys)
 Year 3 of FG31 Mathematics and Physics (MMathPhys)
 Year 3 of FG31 Mathematics and Physics (MMathPhys)

UPXAF300 Undergraduate Physics (BSc)
 Year 3 of F300 Physics
 Year 3 of F300 Physics
 Year 3 of F300 Physics

UPXAF303 Undergraduate Physics (MPhys)
 Year 3 of F300 Physics
 Year 3 of F303 Physics (MPhys)

UPXAF3F5 Undergraduate Physics with Astrophysics (BSc)
 Year 3 of F3F5 Physics with Astrophysics
 Year 3 of F3F5 Physics with Astrophysics
 Year 3 of UPXAF3FA Undergraduate Physics with Astrophysics (MPhys)
This module is Option list B for:

UPXAGF13 Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (BSc)
 Year 3 of GF13 Mathematics and Physics
 Year 3 of GF13 Mathematics and Physics
 Year 4 of UPXAGF14 Undergraduate Mathematics and Physics (with Intercalated Year)