Chemistry 452/750 - Winter 2008
"Molecular Spectroscopy"

Lectures: Tuesday and Thursday, 11:30-12:50 in the 'Mini-Link' room [C2-278 in Waterloo]

Instructor: Robert J. Le Roy
Office: ESC-332
Phone: 888-4051 (on campus, ext. 84051)
e-mail: [Please put 'c452' or 'chem452' or 'chem 750 ' in the subject line to help me separate your e-mail from spam!]

Textbook: "Spectra of Atoms and Molecules by P.F. Bernath (2'nd Edition, Oxford University Press, 2005; ISBN 0-19-517759-2). Note that for our purposes, the first edition (1995) would be completely adequate.

Course Outline and Reference List


This course discusses a wide range of topics in spectroscopy, in the course of which it introduces a large number of technical terms or symbols, many of which are listed in the attached glossary of terms . One measure of your understanding of the subject is your ability to recognize and understand these terms, so one final exam question will list a selection of these terms and ask you to identify them and explain what they mean.

Lecture Notes

The lectures will be based around the skeleton notes found at the following links. It is highly recommended that you print a single-sided (to allow ourself room for extra writing) copy of these outline notes and bring them to class. A photocopied set of my annotated `after-lecture' notes is on reserve in the Davis Centre library under call number UWD-1367 (last updated: Thursday March 20).
1. Introduction: Background, and the Nature of Light
2. The Schrodinger Equation for Nuclear Motion
3. Rotational Spectroscopy of Diatomic Molecules
4. Rotational Spectroscopy of Polyatomic Molecules
5. Vibrational Spectroscopy of Diatomic Molecules
6. Vibrational Spectroscopy of Polyatomic Molecules
7. Raman Spectroscopy (12 pp. posted March 21 @ 15:18)
8. Electronic Spectroscopy of Diatomic Molecules (17 pp. posted March 28 @ 17:41. Note that we will skip Section 8.1 {pp. 1-5})

Problem Sets & Test

Problem Set #1: and solutions
Problem Set #2: and solutions
Problem Set #3: and solutions
Problem Set #4: and solutions
Problem Set #5: and solutions
Problem Set #6: Illustrative Raman and Electronic Spectroscopy Problem for practise !



Supplemental Links

The complete on-line Handbook of Chemistry and Physics (, which is accessible from any UWaterloo IP address, contains extensive mathematical tables, including integral tables, and properties of series, orthogonal polynomials and other special functions encountered in physical chemistry.

The Handbook of Mathematical Functions (, by M. Abramowitz & I.A. Stegun, contains extensive summaries of the properties and tablulations of many of the special mathematical functions encountered in physics and chemistry.

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