Advanced General Physics 323/324

Modern Physics Unit QM5 Atomic Structure

Overview: This unit is divided into two sections. The first section covers the Pauli exclusion principle and its application to the structure of complex atoms, leading to an explanation of the periodic table. The second section covers electromagnetic transitions beween atomic states and the application of these ideas to lasers.

Prerequisite: QM4

Section I: Systems of Many Identical Particles, the Structure of Complex Atoms and the Periodic Table

Read:

R. Eisberg and R. Resnick Quantum Mechanics of Atoms, Solids, Nuclei and Particles (2nd Ed.) , Chapt. 9 - Multielectron Atoms--Ground States and X-Ray Excitations, Sec. 1-4,7 (also skim Sec. 5, 6 and Chapt. 8, Sec. 3).

After completing this Section you should understand:

  1. Exchange Symmetry.
  2. The exclusion Principle.
  3. Why the most stable nuclei have about the same number of neutrons and protons.
  4. What approximation is involved when we describe atoms in terms of one-electron wave functions.
  5. How we can make some corrections to this approximation .
  6. The structure of the periodic table of the elements. (This part should take you a long time to master.)

Problems:

Chapt. 9: Questions 1,2,3,4,5,13 and Problems 1,3,4,6,9,19.

Section II: Electromagnetic Transitions, Lasers

Read:

R. Eisberg and R. Resnick Quantum Mechanics of Atoms, Solids, Nuclei and Particles (2nd Ed.) , Chapt. 11 - Quantum Statistics, Sec. 1-4,6-8.

After completing this Section you should understand:

  1. The possible interactions of a photon with an atom.
  2. Why you need a population inversion for a laser to operate.
  3. How a population inversion is produced.

Problems:

Chapt. 11: Questions 3,4,5,13 and Problems 2,3,5,6,9,20.


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