Physical Chemistry II (Quantum Mechanics)

CHEM 322A/422A
Taught in
Spring 2018
Course Level
Graduate, Undergraduate
Lifelong Support

Course Description

Physical Chemistry II (Quantum Mechanics) (CHEM 422A) delves into the fundamental concepts of quantum mechanics, a pivotal area in physical chemistry. This course, independent of Chemistry 321, requires students to have a solid grasp of calculus and its applications in chemistry. To ensure comprehension and application, the course structure includes working on problems in groups, with a portion of these problems contributing to the final grade. Additionally, Chem 422 students are tasked with writing a short paper on a peer-reviewed journal article relevant to the course material.

The course content covers a wide array of quantum mechanics topics. Starting with the quantization of energy and wave-particle duality, it progresses to the Schrödinger equation and mathematical principles necessary for quantum chemistry. Key concepts such as the Born interpretation, Hermitian operators, and the uncertainty principle are thoroughly explored. The course also examines various quantum systems like particles in a box, well, on a ring, and on a sphere, along with discussions on space quantization, spin, and atomic spectra.

Advanced topics include time-independent and time-dependent perturbation theory, tunneling, the study of hydrogenic atoms, and the complexities of helium and heavier atoms. The course delves into spin multiplicities, spin-orbit coupling, the Born-Oppenheimer principle, and theories like Valence Bond (VB) and Molecular Orbital (MO) theory. Additionally, the course addresses point-group symmetry and the general theory of spectroscopies, with specific lectures on rotational, vibrational, electronic spectroscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance.

The required texts for this course are Atkins and de Paula’s “Physical Chemistry” (9th edition) and Heine, Joswig, Gelessus’s “Computational Chemistry Workbook: Learning through Examples.” This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of quantum mechanics’ principles and their applications in physical chemistry.

Lecture content

Lecture 1 Quantization of energy
Lecture 2 Wave-particle duality
Lecture 3 The Schrödinger equation
Lecture 4 Math for quantum chemistry
Lecture 5 The Born interpretation
Lecture 6 Hermitian operators
Lecture 7 The uncertainty principle
Lecture 8 The particle in a box
Lecture 9 The particle in a well
Lecture 10 The harmonic oscillator
Lecture 11 The particle on a ring
Lecture 12 The particle on a sphere
Lecture 13 Space quantization and spin
Lecture 14 Time-independent perturbation theory
Lecture 15 Time-dependent perturbation theory
Lecture 16 Tunneling
Lecture 17 Hydrogenic atoms
Lecture 18 Atomic spectra
Lecture 19 Helium and heavier atoms
Lecture 20 Spin multiplicities
Lecture 21 Spin-orbit coupling
Lecture 22 The Born-Oppenheimer principle
Lecture 23 VB theory
Lecture 24 MO theory I
Lecture 25 MO theory II
Lecture 26 Point-group symmetry I
Lecture 27 Point-group symmetry II
Lecture 28 Point-group symmetry III
Lecture 29 General theory of spectroscopies I
Lecture 30 General theory of spectroscopies II
Lecture 31 Rotational spectroscopy I
Lecture 32 Rotational spectroscopy II
Lecture 33 Vibrational spectroscopy
Lecture 34 Electronic spectroscopy
Lecture 35 Nuclear magnetic resonance