This book presents a comprehensive overview of the spectacular advances seen in atomic physics during the last 50 years. The authors explain how such progress was possible by highlighting connections between developments that occurred at different times. They discuss the new perspectives and the new research fields that look promising. The emphasis is placed, not on detailed calculations, but rather on physical ideas. Combining both theoretical and experimental considerations, the book will be of interest to a wide range of students, teachers and researchers in quantum and atomic physics.
Claude Cohen–Tannoudji was born in 1933. He is honorary Professor of Atomic and Molecular Physics at the College de France in Paris. With his collaborators he has written 4 books on Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Electrodynamics, Quantum Optics, Levy Statistics and about 200 theoretical and experimental papers on various problems of atomic physics. He is a member or a foreign associate of several other Academies in the world. He shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics with Steven Chu and William Phillips, for his work on the development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light.
David Guery–Odelin is an atomic physicist with research interests in cold atom manipulation, atom lasers and superfluidity. After graduating from ENS (Paris), he received his Ph.D. from the physics department under the supervision of Professor Jean Dalibard for work on Bose– Einstein condensation of alkali atoms. He is currently professor at University Paul Sabatier (Toulouse, France) and is a member of the Institut Universitaire de France.