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.
Contents:General IntroductionGeneral BackgroundLight: A Source of Information on Atoms:Optical MethodsLinear Superpositions of Internal Atomic StatesResonance FluorescenceAdvances in High Resolution SpectroscopyAtom-Photon Interactions: A Source of Perturbations forAtoms Which Can Be Useful:Perturbations Due to a Quasi Resonant Optical ExcitationPerturbations Due to a High Frequency ExcitationAtom-Photon Interactions: A Simple System for Studying Higher Order Effects:Multiphoton Processes Between Discrete StatesPhotoionization of Atoms in Intense Laser fieldsAtom-Photon Interactions: A Tool for Controlling and Manipulating Atomic Motion:Radiative Forces Exerted on a Two-Level Atom at RestLaser Cooling of Two-Level AtomsSub-Doppler Cooling. Sub-Recoil CoolingTrapping of ParticlesUltracold Interactions and Their Control:Two-Body Interactions at Low TemperaturesControlling Atom-Atom InteractionsExploring Quantum Interferences with Few Atoms and Photons:Interference of Atomic de Broglie WavesRamsey Fringes Revisited and Atomic InterferometryQuantum Correlations. Entangled StatesDegenerate Quantum Gases:Emergence of Quantum Effects in a GasThe Long Quest for Bose-Einstein CondensationMean Field Description of a Bose-Einstein CondensateCoherence Properties of Bose-Einstein CondensatesElementary Excitations and Superfluidity in Bose-Einstein CondensatesFrontiers of Atomic Physics:Testing Fundamental Symmetries. Parity Violation in AtomsQuantum Gases as Simple Systems for Many-Body PhysicsExtreme LightGeneral ConclusionReadership: Graduate students, researchers and academics interested in quantum and atomic physics.