Robert Q. Topper

Professor of Chemistry

Ch 361: Physical Chemistry I

Texts for Fall 2020: 

(1) Quantum Chemistry (2nd edition only) by D.A. McQuarrie. See and . 

(2) Quantum States of Atoms and Molecules (online, free) by Hanson et al. See 

Required for all chemical engineering majors, this course in quantum mechanics and molecular spectroscopy is taken during the junior year after having completed a semester of "introductory" physical chemistry covering thermodynamics (Ch 160), a semester of chemical engineering thermodynamics, a year of organic chemistry with one semester of lab, three courses in physics (including modern physics), two years of calculus and ODEs, and linear algebra. Students are simultaneously taking a laboratory course in instrumental analysis, a second course in chemical engineering thermodynamics, and a course in probability and statistics. Consequently, it is taught at a level similar to first-year graduate courses in quantum mechanics at other institutions.

A sequence of applied "quantum chemistry" projects gives students a firm grounding in the methods, language, logistics, and algorithmic approaches involved in the use of quantum mechanics to predict molecular structures, spectra, and properties and analyze the results critically. A brief introduction to statistical mechanics is also included.

The course is sometimes chosen as an elective by students in other engineering majors (espeically EE and BSE).