AT5: Coherent phenomena in atomic physics

Module title: Coherent phenomena in atomic physics (AT5)

Module convenors: Dr. Lucia Hackermüller (Nottingham)

Module aims:

Ultracold quantum gases can represent coherent quantum states and because of the high controllability can be used to study in detail and to beautifully demonstrate the striking predictions of quantum mechanics. We will look at quantum systems with short range interactions, discuss scattering theory and the possibility of long range interactions and how those can change the coherence properties of the system. We will study several seminal experiments in detail and will finish by discussing open experimental and theoretical problems.

Learning objectives:

To understand the notion of coherence and its implications for many-particle systems, to learn about scattering theory and long-range interactions and to gain insight in a range of seminal experiments.


  • A general introduction to coherence
  • Basic scattering theory
  • Scattering theory and long range interactions
  • Applications of long range interactions: Rydberg atoms and dipolar gases


L. Mandel, E. Wolf: Optical Coherence and Quantum Optics
O. Scully: Quantum Optics
L. D. Landau, E. M. Lifshitz, Course of Theoretical Physics 3, Quantum Mechanics
R. Shankar, Principles of Quantum Mechanics
H. Friedrich, Theoretical Atomic Physics

Academic year: 
08/01/2013 - 15:00