Atomic and Molecular Physics (PHYS*4120)
Code and section: PHYS*4120*01
Term: Fall 2010
Instructor: Bernie Nickel
The application of quantum theory to atomic and molecular structure, and the interaction between electromagnetic radiation and atoms and simple molecules.
- Bound Notes by R.L.Brooks. On sale in SCIE1101A through Sept 13; after that in Physics office (MacN 207).
- The “Quantum Mechanics” text by David Griffiths should also be useful.
|Tu Th||10:00-11:20||MacN 118|
Part 1: Atoms (∼60%)
- Overview of atomic structure: Interaction and energy scales, qualitative effects of spin, Pauli principle. Some spectroscopic notation.
- Central forces and Angular momentum: Commutator relations, ladder operators, review of hydrogen atom solutions, spherical harmonics, spin angular momentum, addition of angular momentum.
- Dealing with many electrons: Pauli principle, anti-symmetrization. Variational principle with application to He, H-. Approximate treatment of more than two electrons – independent particle picture + perturbation treatment of e-e repulsion.
- Fine structure (spin-orbit coupling), hyperfine structure (nuclear spin and shape effects).
- External perturbations: Zeeman and Stark effects.
- Transition probabilities: Selection rules, Fermi’s golden rule for lifetimes.
Part 2: Molecules (∼30%)
- Born-Oppenheimer separation: Variational treatment of H2+. Molecular orbitals and qualitative treatment of H2 and first row diatomic molecules. Van der Waals forces.
- Vibration and rotation of diatomic molecules. Separation of variables, harmonic vibration and simple rotation. Anharmonic effects. Morse potential. Interpretation of molecular spectra, deduction of molecular constants. Selection rules, (nuclear) spin statistics. Thermal effects.
Part 3: Scattering theory (∼10%)
- Low energy atom-atom s-wave scattering and effective (pseudo) potentials with application to atomic traps.
Midterm to be scheduled in week 8 or 9 (to cover atoms)
I encourage discussion among students on assignments but whatever is submitted must be independently written up. I am available for consultation most days and most hours.
Familiarity with a quantum text of your choice is essential. Griffiths “Quantum Mechanics” covers some of the material in this course. Gerhard Herzberg’s “Atomic spectra and atomic structure” and “Molecular spectra and molecular structure, Vol 1” are gold mines of experimental information with wonderful qualitative discussions.
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