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A Student's Guide to Atomic Physics


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Table of Contents

Preface; List of symbols; Part I. Fundamental Principles: 1. Preliminary concepts; 2. Hydrogen; 3. Radiative transitions; 4. The shell model and alkali spectra; 5. Angular momentum; 6. Helium and exchange symmetry; 7. Fine structure and nuclear effects; 8. External fields: the Zeeman and Stark effects; Part II. Applications of Atomic Physics: 9. Stimulated emission and lasers; 10. Cold atoms; 11. Atomic physics applied to the solid state; 12. Atomic physics in astronomy; Appendix A. The reduced mass; Appendix B. Mathematical solutions for the hydrogen Schroedinger equation; Appendix C. Helium energy integrals; Appendix D. Perturbation theory of the Stark effect; Appendix E. Laser dynamics; Bibliography; Index.

Promotional Information

A concise overview of the fundamental concepts and applications of atomic physics for students including examples, problems, and diagrams of key concepts.

About the Author

Mark Fox is a Professor of Physics at the University of Sheffield. He is also a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, and the Institute of Physics. His research focuses on optics and photonics, and he specialises in solid-state atoms and quantum dots. He has authored two highly successful books: Optical Properties of Solids (2nd edition, 2010) and Quantum Optics: An Introduction (2005).


'Today a thorough understanding of atomic and molecular physics is surely a prerequisite for a career in astrophysics, especially now that the entire electromagnetic spectrum of many astronomical objects may be open to quantitative examination. Given the need for a sound understanding, the question becomes, how are students to develop a serious interest in atomic and molecular physics? This book by Mark Fox deserves consideration for an atomic-physics course taken by physics (and other) students in the second half of their undergraduate career ... I welcome this book for its clear exposition of the basic ideas on atomic structure and spectra. ... The health of spectroscopic astrophysics demands that young bright minds are brought into the field in every generation. Texts like that by Mark Fox have a crucial role to play in this context.' David L. Lambert, The Observatory
'Well-chosen worked examples are liberally sprinkled through all the chapters. This is an invaluable aid to the reader ... The text is clear to read and understand, and only a basic understanding of quantum mechanics and electromagnetism is required ... The harder mathematical concepts are hidden away in Appendices, so they are still available for the more intrepid reader, but do not spoil the flow of the main text ... I would agree that the material is pitched at the second or third year of a UK undergraduate physics course, but it would also be useful for specialists in other fields starting out in the world of atomic physics.' Stephen H. Ashworth, Contemporary Physics
'This is a well-constructed book with a great many exercises at the end of each chapter. These exercises are of tremendous value, enabling students to solve a wide variety of problems in the subject. I would recommend this book for anyone who wanted a basic understanding of atomic physics.' Trevor Bailey, Mathematics Today

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