Laser-atom interaction: two-state model – Rabi oscillations, adiabatic rapid passage, Bloch vector, Ramsey fringes, saturated absorption, and three-state model – optical pumping, 2-photon spectroscopy, STIRAP, induced electromagnetic transparency, slow light

Cold atoms, atomic traps and Bose-Einstein condensates: Doppler and sub-Doppler cooling, magneto-optical and dipole trap, evaporative cooling, statistical mechanics of boson condensation, condensate properties, atom lasers

Applications of cold atoms to metrology: atomic clocks, atomic fountains, cold ions in Lamb-Dicke regime, quantum jumps, atomic qubits

Introduction to the principles of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): magnetic Bloch equations, spin echoes, Fourier Transform NMR, basic MRI pulse sequences.

Introduction to quantum “weirdness”: quantum nonlocality and entanglement, Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) paradox, Bell’s inequalities, experimental tests, GHZ states, quantum teleportation…

Introduction to quantum computing.

The course will address the theoretical foundations of some recent and current research themes in atomic and molecular physics, in particular the light-atom interactions. These basic principles will be applied to explain some key experiments, which have not only impacted our daily lives but have also challenged our conceptual and philosophical vision of the world. Special emphasis will be placed on the understanding of the physical principles envolved.