Post-print of: Murray, AJ, MacGillivray, WR & Hussey, M 2008, 'Theoretical modeling of resonant laser excitation of atoms in a magnetic field', Physical Review A, vol. 77, 013409.
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The interaction of near-resonant laser radiation with atoms immersed in a magnetic B field is calculated using a quantum electrodynamic model. In this model, the magnetic field is assumed to produce a small perturbation such that the degeneracy of the magnetic substates is lifted while maintaining the usual quantum numbers that define the states (the Zeeman effect). The laser radiation is considered to have a narrow bandwidth and to be temporally and spatially coherent. The model produces three general coupled differential equations that describe the state populations and their relative coherences and the optical coherences between levels coupled by the laser radiation. The model can therefore be directly applied to different experiments ranging from atom trapping and cooling experiments through to collision experiments carried out in magnetic and laser fields.