Abstract: In these lectures we will review light-matter interactions and show how artificial electromagnetism can be induced in ultracold atomic gases such as Bose-Einstein condensates and degenerate Fermi gases. These cold gases are charge neutral and do not behave as electrons would do in a magnetic field. However, by optically addressing the atoms an effective charge for the atoms can be created. We will show how this can be done in some detail, and illustrate the concept of artificial electromagnetism by looking at a number of phenomena known from condensed matter physics and high energy physics where gauge potentials play an important role.