Chem 539 : Spectroscopy (3 cr.)

This course will cover topics of the interaction between radiation and matter, i.e. spectroscopy. It is offered as a CORE PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY COURSE primarily to graduate students but upper level undergraduate students (seniors and juniors) specializing in chemistry, physics or engineering are also encouraged to take it. Undergraduate students will designate the course as CHEM 451-Special Topics with 3 cr. hours. To make things even more complicted, the course is also listed as a Physics course, PHYS574, and an electrical engineering course, EE574.

It will be assumed that the students are reasonably familiar with the topics covered in Chemistry 433 and 434 or/and Chemistry 537, or their equivalents in other departments but none of it is considered as a prerequisite. See instructor for discussion of whether this is a suitable course for you. Also, take a first self quiz and see if you are ready.

The spectroscopy provides us with unique information about structure and reactivity of molecules. It spans wavelengths range from radio-waves to X-rays. We will consider a basic description of spectroscopy and some detailed examples, such as microwave, IR, Raman, UV-Vis, photoelectron, and a little bit of magnetic resonance (EPR and NMR). Depending on the audience's interest and time, the latter topics might be expanded. Mostly small molecules will be considered but big enough to introduce the use of symmetry group analysis. Where appropriate, solvent effects on spectroscopic changes will be also addressed.

The main thesis of this course is to answer the question:

What information is encoded in the spectra of atoms and molecules?

Primary Textbook: Molecular Quantum Mechanics, 5th edition by P. Atkins and R. Friedman (Oxford University Press, 2010).

Lectures: will be on MWF, 10:30-11:20 AM, in the conference room CB 113.

Software: Software use in problem solving is encouraged but not required. I recommend Mathcad or Mathematica but Scientific Notebook and others can be very useful as well. Mathcad 14.0 is available in our Computer Lab.


Last updated on 08/18/15