cod. 00127

Academic year 2012/13
3° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Chimica fisica (CHIM/02)
A scelta dello studente
Type of training activity
Student's choice
48 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit
in - - -

Learning objectives

Knowledge and understanding: the students will acquire basic knowledge in quantum mechanics and specific knowledge on applications of quantum mechanics to chemically relevant problems.

Applying knowledge and understanding: the students will acquire the tools required to re-interpret and formally describe chemical knowledge acquired in basic chemical courses (wavefunction, orbitals, chemical bond, spin, etc...)

Learning skills: the student will acquire methodological competences and the basic tools of chemical quantum mechanics as to be able to read and understand specialistic literature.


To fruitfully access the course students must master basic mathematical tools, and have a good knowledge of basic concepts in physics.

Course unit content

Quantum Mechanics: an introduction

A few exact solutions of the Scrödinger equation

Methods of approximation

Symmetry in Quantum Mechanics

Atoms and molecules: some basic concepts

Atomic structure

Molecular structure

Full programme

Introduction to quantum mechanics
*the double-slit experiment, photon polarization and teh superposition principle
*states & operators, vectors & matrices
*observables, eigenstates and measurements
*commutability & compatibility
*Schrödinger representation
*Schrödinger equation

Exact solutions of the Schrödinger equation
*the free particle
*the particle in a box
*the harmonic oscillator
*the rigid rotor, angula momenta & spin
*one-electron atoms

Approximation methods
*perturbation theory for stationary states
*variational method

Symmetry in quantum mechanics
*symmetry & group theory
*symmetry & quantum mechanics
*point groups, continuous groups
*exchange symmetry: fermions & bosons

Atoms & molecules: some basic concepts
*the adiabatic approximation (Born-Oppenheimer)
*mean-field approximation, atomic/molecular orbitals

Atomic structure
*configurations & aufbau
*coupling of angular momenta
*spin-orbit coupling

Molecolar structure
*chemica bond: the hydrogen molecule
*diatomic homonuclear molecules
*polyatomic molecules
*hybrid orbitals
*transition metal complexes
*electronic structure calculations (primer)
*the Huckel method
*vibrations of polyatomic molecules


the suggested textbook
P.W. Atkins and R.S. Friedman, Molecular Quantum Mechanics, Oxford University Press, 2011 -
is complemented with lectures notes available to the students

Teaching methods

class lectures

Assessment methods and criteria

final oral exam

Other information

lecture notes are available to the students.

The teacher is available to the student upon request to discuss and clarify specific issues.