Rydberg Physics of Atoms, Molecules and Ultracold Gases (WiSe 2023/24)

This course will survey topics in modern AMO theory with an emphasis on applications in Rydberg systems, including:

  • Interactions in ultracold gases
  • Bose-Einstein condensates
  • Multichannel scattering theory (in particular, multichannel quantum defect theory used for complex Rydberg spectra)
  • Adiabatic methods for nonseparable quantum problems
  • Supersymmetric quantum mechanics
  • Atoms in external fields
  • ...and much more.

The course will introduce several different theoretical and numerical approaches to solving problems in AMO theory. Most of the key concepts will be taught using modern research problems as a basis.

Background experience in quantum mechanics, mathematical methods, and computational physics will be assumed; background knowledge in AMO physics will be helpful but topics will be taught without relying on too much background knowledge.

Very useful references and background reading:

Harald Friedrich: Theoretical Atomic Physics and Scattering Theory

Fano and Rau, Atomic Collisions and Spectra

Tom Gallagher, Rydberg Atoms

Your favorite quantum mechanics textbooks: I like C. Cohen-Tannoudji, Sakurai, Griffiths, ...

Course location:

  • spatial: MPI-PKS room 1D1
  • temporal: Mondays 11:10-12:40

To register: via e-mail at meiles@pks.mpg.de

Course requirements: participation in class discussions (70% attendance at minimum!) and in a final project.

Details of the "project": TBD

Course syllabus:

October 9Introduction & Preliminaries / history of Rydberg physics. Lecture 1 Notes.
October 16Hydrogen atom / SuperSymmetric quantum mechanics. Lecture 2 Notes.  
October 23Class Postponed (tba makeup class). Intermediate review notes.  
October 30SuperSymmetric quantum mechanics / Coulomb Scattering. Lecture 4 Notes.  
November 6Coulomb Scattering / Single-channel quantum defect theory. Lecture 5 Notes.  
November 13Normalization topics and oscillator strengths. Lecture 6 Notes.  
November 20Low-energy behavior / threshold laws. Lecture 7 Notes. 
November 27Scattering length / Fermi pseudopotential. Lecture 8 Notes.  
December 4Nonseparable quantum mechanics / trilobites. 
December 11Dispersion forces, polarization, and long-range interactions. 
December 18Multichannel Quantum Defect Theory introduction 
December 25ChristmasNo lecture
January 1New Years DayNo lecture
January 8  
January 15  
January 22  
January 29