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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

CHEM2252 Quantum Mechanics and Spectroscopy

10 creditsClass Size: 250

Module manager: Dr Marcelo Pessoa de Miranda

Taught: Semester 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

Pre-requisite qualifications

Level 1 in Chemistry or equivalent

Module replaces

CHEM2350 (a two-semester module to be replaced by two one-semester modules, of which this is the second)

This module is not approved as a discovery module


To provide students with an underpinning understanding of the foundations of physical chemistry through a study of quantum mechanics and molecular spectroscopy.

Learning outcomes
- demonstrate an understanding of the principles, concepts and basic models of quantum mechanics and spectroscopy that are most relevant for chemists;
- understand the role of quantum mechanics in chemistry and how energy is stored and distributed in atoms and molecules;
- understand the connection between quantum mechanics and the absorption and emission of light by atoms and molecules


Quantum phenomena: wave-particle duality, quantisation, tunneling. Postulates of quantum mechanics. Observables, measurement, and uncertainty. Correspondence principle. Time-independent Schroedinger equation. Motion in one or several dimensions (translational, vibrational, rotational, electronic, over or across potential energy barriers). Basic models: square potentials, harmonic oscillator, rigid rotor, hydrogenic atoms.

Transitions between molecular states. Molecular rotational, vibrational, and electronic transitions. Born-Oppenheimer approximation. Anharmonic oscillators. Transition dipole moments. Franck Condon principle. Absorption and emission of light.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Problem Based Learning101.0010.00
Private study hours68.00
Total Contact hours32.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Two tutorials (one focusing on quantum mechanics, one focusing on spectroscopy)

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Tutorial PerformanceMarks awarded only for written answers12.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)12.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc) (S2)2 hr 00 mins88.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)88.00

School of Chemistry Data & Formula booklet to be provided

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 05/11/2019 08:50:01


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