Rydberg Physics of Atoms, Molecules and Ultracold Gases (SoSe 2024)

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
  • Pressure broadening
  • Impurity physics / Bose polarons
  • ...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:

DateTentative Topic(s)Notes
April 8Introduction & Preliminaries / history of Rydberg physics / Hydrogen atom. Lecture 1 Notes.
April 15SuperSymmetric quantum mechanics. Lecture 2 Notes. 
April 22Coulomb scattering. Lecture 3 Notes. 
April 29Coulomb scattering cont'd and quantum defect theory. Lecture 3/4 Notes.  
May 6Special class: Alper lecturing on BECs. Lecture 5/6 Notes.  
May 13Special class pt. 2: Alper's lectures on BECs. Lecture 5/6 Example Code.  
May 20PentacostNo lecture
May 27Low- and zero-energy scattering. 
June 3No class - rescheduling TBA 
June 10  
June 17No class - rescheduling TBA 
June 24Rydberg molecules / dispersion / interactions / adiabatic expansion (x2 week) 
July 1No class - rescheduling TBA 
July 8MQDT (x2 or x3 week) 
July 15end