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Advances in Atomic Physics : An Overview

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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.

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Cohen-Tannoudji Claude
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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.

    • General Introduction
    • General Background
  • Light: A Source of Information on Atoms:
    • Optical Methods
    • Linear Superpositions of Internal Atomic States
    • Resonance Fluorescence
    • Advances in High Resolution Spectroscopy
  • Atom-Photon Interactions: A Source of Perturbations forAtoms Which Can Be Useful:
    • Perturbations Due to a Quasi Resonant Optical Excitation
    • Perturbations Due to a High Frequency Excitation
  • Atom-Photon Interactions: A Simple System for Studying Higher Order Effects:
    • Multiphoton Processes Between Discrete States
    • Photoionization of Atoms in Intense Laser fields
  • Atom-Photon Interactions: A Tool for Controlling and Manipulating Atomic Motion:
    • Radiative Forces Exerted on a Two-Level Atom at Rest
    • Laser Cooling of Two-Level Atoms
    • Sub-Doppler Cooling. Sub-Recoil Cooling
    • Trapping of Particles
  • Ultracold Interactions and Their Control:
    • Two-Body Interactions at Low Temperatures
    • Controlling Atom-Atom Interactions
  • Exploring Quantum Interferences with Few Atoms and Photons:
    • Interference of Atomic de Broglie Waves
    • Ramsey Fringes Revisited and Atomic Interferometry
    • Quantum Correlations. Entangled States
  • Degenerate Quantum Gases:
    • Emergence of Quantum Effects in a Gas
    • The Long Quest for Bose-Einstein Condensation
    • Mean Field Description of a Bose-Einstein Condensate
    • Coherence Properties of Bose-Einstein Condensates
    • Elementary Excitations and Superfluidity in Bose-Einstein Condensates
  • Frontiers of Atomic Physics:
    • Testing Fundamental Symmetries. Parity Violation in Atoms
    • Quantum Gases as Simple Systems for Many-Body Physics
    • Extreme Light
    • General Conclusion
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