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December 15, 2022


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This course is an introduction to quantum mechanics for use by chemists.

Topics include particles and waves, wave mechanics, semi-classical quantum mechanics, matrix mechanics, perturbation theory, molecular orbital theory, molecular structure, molecular spectroscopy, and photochemistry. Emphasis is on creating and building confidence in the use of intuitive pictures.

Course Curriculum

  • Lecture 1: Quantum Mechanics—Historical Background, Photoelectric Effect, Compton Scattering Unlimited
  • Lecture 2: Wave Nature of the Electron and the Internal Structure of an Atom Unlimited
  • Lecture 3: Two-Slit Experiment, Quantum Weirdness Unlimited
  • Lecture 4: Classical Wave Equation and Separation of Variables Unlimited
  • Lecture 5: Quantum Mechanics: Free Particle and Particle in 1D box Unlimited
  • Lecture 6: 3-D Box and QM Separation of Variables Unlimited
  • Lecture 7: Classical Mechanical Harmonic Oscillator Unlimited
  • Lecture 8: Quantum Mechanical Harmonic Oscillator Unlimited
  • Lecture 9: The Harmonic Oscillator: Creation and Annihilation Operators Unlimited
  • Lecture 10: The Time-Dependent Schrödinger Equation Unlimited
  • Lecture 11: Wavepacket Dynamics for Harmonic Oscillator and PIB Unlimited
  • Lecture 12: Catch Up and Review, Postulates Unlimited
  • Lecture 13: From Hij Integrals to H Matrices I Unlimited
  • Lecture 14: From Hij Integrals to H Matrices II Unlimited
  • Lecture 15: Non-Degenerate Perturbation Theory I Unlimited
  • Lecture 16: Non-Degenerate Perturbation Theory II: HO using a,a† Unlimited
  • Lecture 17: Rigid Rotor I. Orbital Angular Momentum Unlimited
  • Lecture 18: Rigid Rotor II. Derivation by Commutation Rules Unlimited
  • Lecture 19: Spectroscopy: Probing Molecules with Light Unlimited
  • Lecture 20: Hydrogen Atom I Unlimited
  • Lecture 21: Hydrogen Atom II. Rydberg States Unlimited
  • Lecture 22: Helium Atom Unlimited
  • Lecture 23: Many-Electron Atoms Unlimited
  • Lecture 24: Molecular Orbital Theory I. Variational Principle and Matrix Mechanics Unlimited
  • Lecture 25: Molecular Orbital Theory II. H2+, A2, AB Diatomics Unlimited
  • Lecture 26: Qualitative MO Theory: Hückel Unlimited
  • Lecture 27: Non-Degenerate Perturbation Theory III Unlimited
  • Lecture 28: Modern Electronic Structure Theory: Basis Sets Unlimited
  • Lecture 29: Modern Electronic Structure Theory: Electronic Correlation Unlimited
  • Lecture 30: Time-Dependent Perturbation Theory I. H is Time-Independent, Zewail Wavepacket Unlimited
  • Lecture 31: Time-Dependent Perturbation Theory II. H is Time-Dependent: Two-Level Problem Unlimited
  • Lecture 32: Intermolecular Interactions by Non-Degenerate Perturbation Theory Unlimited
  • Lecture 33: Electronic Spectroscopy: Franck-Condon Unlimited
  • Lecture 34: Electronic Spectroscopy and Photochemistry Unlimited
  • Lecture 35: δ-Functions, Eigenfunctions of X, Discrete Variable Representation Unlimited
  • Lecture 36: Time Dependence of Two-Level Systems: Density Matrix, Rotating Wave Approximation Unlimited

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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