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Theoretical Atomic Physics

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Abstract

The last decades have seen great advances in experimental atomic physics. Exotic states of atoms can be prepared with the help of intense and short laser pulses, experiments can be performed on individual atoms and ions in electromagnetic traps and the dependence of their properties on their environment can be investigated, and high resolution laser spectroscopy has made precision studies of the finest details of complicated atomic spectra possible. The experimental advances have confronted the theory with new challenges. It has become apparent that intricate and interesting effects can occur even in seemingly simple systems with only few degrees of freedom, and that their theoretical description often is by no means easy. Complementary to high precision spectroscopy, the availability of ultra-short light pulses on the femtosecond time scale and below has made it possible to study highly localized excitations in atoms and molecules and to follow the evolution of wave packets on an atomic scale. The availability of ultra-cold atoms has made experimental tests of fundamental postulates of quantum mechanics possible, and it has led to the realization in the laboratory of degenerate condensates of gases of bosonic and of fermionic atoms. The new experimental techniques enable active manipulation of ultra-cold atoms in the extremely quantum mechanical regime.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Terms of order \(\tilde{\nu }/L\) are neglected in the exponent on the right-hand side of (5.186), but reference to the energy of the non degenerate ground state, ɛ gs = O(1∕L 2) is retained for pedagogical reasons.

  2. 2.

    Noninteger values of l are not merely of academic interest. They can describe the effects of inverse-square potentials of other origin than the centrifugal term. In two-dimensional scattering described in Sect. 4.2, the radial Schrödinger equation with integer angular momentum quantum number m resembles that of the 3D case when \(l =\vert m\vert -\frac{1} {2}\).

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Friedrich, H. (2017). Special Topics. In: Theoretical Atomic Physics. Graduate Texts in Physics. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-47769-5_5

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