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What are the essential Prerequisites for doing AMO?

  1. Feb 9, 2009 #1
    I am posting here coz people here would be more familiar with AMO area.

    I probably will be doing AMO (atomic molecular and optics) in grad school. With one last year left, I have a bunch of upper division courses to choose from. I am wondering which of the courses would be most useful in my future.

    Firstly, I guess since I am going into AMO, I do not need all those high energy stuff (particle physics, nuclear physics ect.). I guess I also do not need to take general relativity. right?

    Secondly, I am very much not sure whether a solid state physics course would be useful?

    Lastly, there is a bunch of courses all seemingly related to my area. Photonics, quantum optics, atomic and molecular physics (this one for sure), advanced statistical mechanics, even quantum computing… I am wondering are they all necessary?

    Any other suggestions, like what maths course is good etc. would be very much welcome

    Many thanks!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 18, 2009 #2


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    Not required absolutely, but those are all good subjects to know at least at the undergrad level. In grad school there will be qualifier exams, and you will probably have to know some basics in all those subfields. The good news is that much of the basics can be picked up "on the side"

    Again, good for general physics knowledge and perhaps for getting through grad school qualifiers later on.

    Those all sound good.

    stat mech is pretty useful. Can't comment on quantum computing, as it's a new area and I was in grad school in late 80's to mid 90's.

    A solid understanding of electromagnetism and quantum mechanics will be essential for doing AMO physics. Also, have you already taken a basic Optics course yet?

    Good luck!
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