Physics 545: Introduction to Atomic Structure

This course is an introduction to:

  • The structure and properties of atoms
  • Nuclear atom
  • Hydrogen atom
  • Bohr/deBroglie model
  • Electron spin
  • Quantum theory
  • Lamb shifts
  • Fine and hyperfine structure
  • External fields.
  • Many electron atoms
  • Central field
  • Pauli principle
  • Multiplets
  • Periodic table
  • X-ray spectra
  • Vector coupling
  • Systematics of ground states
  • Interaction of atoms with light
    This course is aimed at advanced undergraduate and graduate students in astronomy, chemistry, engineering, and physics who desire or need a good understanding of the properties of atoms. The course assumes a basic understanding of quantum theory, though many aspects of it will be reviewed in the course.  


    Typical coursework includes homework assignments, two hour exams, and a research paper.


    The text often used is Elementary Atomic Structure, by Woodgate.

    Recent instructors

    Lawler, Anderson, Lin.
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