Atomic and Molecular Physics
Other Course Description or Assignment Information:
The application of quantum theory to atomic and molecular structure, and the interaction between electromagnetic radiation and atoms and simple molecules. The Fundamentals of Atomic and Molecular Physics, by R.L. Brooks, Springer 2013. An electronic copy of this book is available through the UofG library.
Part 1: Atoms (~70%) Overview of atomic structure: Interaction and energy scales, qualitative effect of spin, Pauli principle. Some spectroscopic notation. Central forces and Angular momentum: Conmmutator relations, ladder operators, review of hydrogen atom solutions, spherical harmonics, spin angular momentum, addition of angular momentum. Dealing with many electrons: Pauli principle, anti-symmetrization. Variational principle with application to He, H-. Approximate treatment of more than two electrons – independent particle picture + perturbation treatment of e-e repulsion. Fine structure (spin-orbit coupling), hyperfine structure (nuclear spin and shape effects). External perturbations: Zeeman and Stark effects. Transition probabilities: Selection rules, Fermi’s golden rule.
Part 2: Molecules (~30%) Born-Oppenheimer separation: Variational treatment of H2+. Molecular orbitals and qualitative treatment of H2 and first-row two diatomic molecules. Van der Waals forces. Vibration and rotation of diatomic molecules. Separation of variables, harmonic vibration and simple rotation. Anharmonic effects. Morse potential. Interpretation of molecular spectra, deduction of molecular constants. Selection rules, (nuclear) spin statistics. Thermal effects.
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