1 SI Units

We will often use SI units. SI units are easy for the human world, but inconvenient for many atomic quantities.

1.1 Redefinition Some of the SI units were based on artifacts, especially the kilogram. These artifacts were imperfect, so we wanted a better system. The charge defines the , the of light defines meters per , is defined in terms of the frequency of a hyperfine transition in cesium, Planck’s contant (along with the other factors) defines the kilogram, Boltzmann’s constant defines the , Avagadro’s number defines moles, and kcandela defines and lumens.

2 Atomic Units

Atomic units are a bit more convenient. They are determined by the electron charge e, the reduced ~, and the electron me. In atomic units, they are each defined to be 1.

2.1 Derived Quantities is defined in terms of the Bohr radius. In SI units,

2 ~ ˚ a0 = [4π0] 2 ≈ 0.53A mee

We set 4π0 = 1 in atomic units, and ~ = me = e = 1, so a0 = 1. The Hartree H will have a value of 1 for similar reasons. The atomic definition of time is ~/H ≈ 2.4 × 10−17 s. is defined by 1 e2 ≈ 2.2 × 106 m/s 4π0 ~ The fundamental magnetic dipole moment is the Bohr magneton:

~e MHz µB = ≈ h × 1.4 2me G This has a value of 1/2 in atomic units. The unit of electric field is 1 e ≈ 5.1 × 109 V/cm 4π0 a0 It has a value of 1 in atomic units.

1 2.2 Alpha Hierarchies Not all numbers in atomic units are 1 (or 1/2). Our velocity unit can be written as

1 e2  e2  1 = = c = cα 4π0 ~ 4π0~c The in atomic units is thus α−1. This implies that relativity is relevant as a 1/α correction. αa0 is the reduced Compton wavelength, the wavelength of a particle with the rest mass of an electron. ~c a0/α = H ≈ 7.2 nm is the wavelength of light absorbed or emitted in the ground state of an 1 atom. This is about α the of the atom. The magnetic field in an atom is 1 E v ≈ 2.3 × 105 T c2 atom atom This is α2 in atomic units.

2.3 Other Dimensionless Quantities me ≈ 1 also shows up occasionally. mp 1800

3 Units of Energy

In SI units, energy is measured in . However, the most convenient unit of energy may depend on the instruments. For an instrument that accelerates with an electric field (like an electron microscope), eV are much easier to use. Energy can be discussed in terms of frequency, since E = hν. Thus, we can measure energy in . In a spectrometer, the energy of light depends on the wavelength. Using that 1 = ν , we can λvac c describe energy in cm−1. Sometimes we measure . We can use that E = kBT to measure energy in Kelvin.

3.1 Common Rules 1 mK ∼ 20.8 MHz or 1 µK ∼ 20.8 kHz 1 cm−1 ∼ 30 GHz 1 300 K ∼ eV 40 1 1 eV ∼ 8066 cm−1 = 1.24 µm