Atoms and Light: Interactions

  • John N. Dodd

Part of the Physics of Atoms and Molecules book series (PIDF)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. John N. Dodd
    Pages 1-6
  3. John N. Dodd
    Pages 7-12
  4. John N. Dodd
    Pages 13-26
  5. John N. Dodd
    Pages 57-87
  6. John N. Dodd
    Pages 89-95
  7. John N. Dodd
    Pages 121-140
  8. John N. Dodd
    Pages 141-160
  9. John N. Dodd
    Pages 161-180
  10. John N. Dodd
    Pages 181-201
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 203-247

About this book


This book discusses the interaction of light with atoms, concentrating on the semiclassical descriptions of the processes. It begins by discussing the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation and its interaction with a classical charged dipole oscillator. Then, in a pivotal chapter, the interaction with a free charge is described (the Compton effect); it is shown that, in order to give agreement with observation, certain quantum rules must be introduced. The book then proceeds to discuss the interaction from this point of view-light always being described classically, atoms described quantum-mechanically, with quantum rules for the interaction. Subsequent chapters deal with stimulated emission and absorption, spontaneous emission and decay, the general problem of light stimulating and being scattered from the two-state atom, the photoelectric effect, and photoelectric counting statistics. Finally the author gives a personal view on the nature of light and his own way of looking at certain paradoxes. The writing of this book was originally conceived as a collaboration between the present author and a colleague of former years, Alan V. Durrant. Indeed, some preliminary exchange of ideas took place in the mid-1970s. But the problems of joint-authorship from antipodean positions proved too difficult and the project was abandoned. I would like to record my indebted­ ness to him for the stimulation of this early association. I also acknowledge the encouragement of my colleagues at the Univer­ sity of Otago. Special reference must be made to D. M.


Albert Einstein atom atoms coherence density distribution electromagnetic electromagnetic field magnetic field radiation scattering sorption spectra structure wave

Authors and affiliations

  • John N. Dodd
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OtagoOtagoNew Zealand

Bibliographic information

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