Interesting Links:

A&S Students and Teachers Working Together

Atkins, de Paula, and Friedman - companion website

Useful Mathematical Formulae

Useful PCHEM Equations

Hydrogenic Wave Function Applet

Bob's School of Quantum Mechanics

Course Related Links:

Course Syllabus

QM Postulates

Reduced Mass Derivation

Term Symbols

Problem Sets:

Homework 1 soln

Homework 2 soln

Homework 3 soln




Fall 2015

Classroom Building, CR-103
Mon.,Wed., Fri. 10:00 am - 10:50 am

Michael S Sommer
Room 319, Physical Sciences Building
Office Hrs:
Mondays and Wednesdsays, 2-4 pm
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 junior-level 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 time-independent 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.