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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: PHY3022 Module Title: LIGHT AND MATTER
Module Provider: Physics Short Name: PH3-LM10
Level: HE3 Module Co-ordinator: MURDIN BN Prof (Physics)
Number of credits: 10 Number of ECTS credits: 5
Module Availability

Module Availability:


Semester 1


Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment


Weighting Towards Module Mark( %)






Qualifying Condition(s) 


University general regulations refer.


Module Overview

The module provides an introduction to atomic physics and quantum optics, discussing the links between both fields.



PHY2056 – Mathematical, Quantum and Computational Physics module or equivalent.


Module Aims

To provide an understanding of the fundamentals, links and recent developments in atomic physics and quantum optics.


Learning Outcomes

Students will have an overview of modern physics of atoms and quantum optics. They will appreciate the physics of atom optics and the implications of the quantum nature of light, in particular concerning the interaction of light with matter. Students will finally have had an introduction to the principles of quantum computation.


Module Content

Introduction and Background


-         Classical optics (Maxwell’s equations, diffraction and interference, coherence, nonlinear optics)


-         Quantum mechanics (formalism of quantum mechanics, quantized states in atoms, band theory of solids)


-         Radiative transitions in atoms (Einstein coefficients, radiative transition rates, selection rules, spectral lines, optical properties of solids, principle of lasers)


Atoms and Photons


-         Photon statistics (coherent light, quantum noise, squeezing)


-         Resonant light-atom interactions (two-level atom approximation, time-dependent Schrödinger equation, Rabi oscillations)


-         Atoms in cavities (optical cavities, atom-cavity coupling, weak and strong coupling)


-         Cold atoms (laser cooling, Bose-Einstein condensation, the Atom Laser)


Fundamentals of Quantum Computing


-         Quantum computing (quantum bits, quantum logic and states, applications of quantum computers


-         Quantum teleportation (entangled states, principles of teleportation)


Methods of Teaching/Learning

24 hours of lectures, end-of-semester tutorial.


Selected Texts/Journals

i.                C J Foot, Atomic Physics,  ( Oxford , 2005).


ii.              H Haken, H C Wolf, The physics of atoms and quanta: Introduction to Experiments and Theory, (Springer-Verlag, 2005).


iii.             H Paul, Introduction to Quantum Optics,  (Cambridge 2004).


Last Updated

August 2010.