Fall 2015
Classroom Building, CR103
Mon.,Wed., Fri. 10:00 am  10:50 am
Instructor:

Michael S Sommer 

Office:

Room 319, Physical Sciences Building 
Phone:

13077662812 
Office Hrs:

Mondays and Wednesdsays, 24 pm 
Textbook:

Quanta, Matter, and Change, 2nd Ed. by Atkins, de Paula, and Friedman 
Purpose 
The purpose of this course is to introduce the concepts and methods of physical chemistry to juniorlevel undergraduates. The prerequisites for this course are the first year of general chemistry, two semesters of college physics, and three semesters of calculus. Knowledge of differential equations, probability theory, and linear algebra would be helpful, but not absolutely necessary.
Outline 
The course begins by introducing some of the early results that lead to the need for quantum mechanics. The timeindependent Schroedinger equation  the central equation in quantum mechanics  is presented as along with a series of postulates. Examples of the usage of the equation start simple  e.g. particle in a box  and move onto more complicated cases  e.g. the harmonic oscillator. Along the way, physical interpretations and applications are introduced  e.g. the uncertainty principle  and the necessary math will be presented.
Once this basis is established, the quantum mechanics of atoms is tackled. The simplest case  the hydrogen atom  is used as the starting point, and the complications due to multiple electrons are then introduced. One of the systems to be looked at in detail will be the helium atom. Molecular bonding will be discussed, and approximate methods  e.g. molecular orbitals  will prove to be invaluable. Finally, rudiments of molecular symmetry will be covered.