Module Identifier PH32710  
Academic Year 2007/2008  
Co-ordinator Dr Tudor E Jenkins  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Professor Keith Birkinshaw  
Pre-Requisite PH23720  
Course delivery Lecture   20  
  Seminars / Tutorials   3  
  Workload Breakdown   Example sheets 20 hours  
  Workload Breakdown   lectures 20 hours  
  Workload Breakdown   Tutorials 3 hrs  
  Workload Breakdown   Private study 57 hours  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours  70%
Semester Assessment 3 example sheets30%
Supplementary Exam2 Hours  100%

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
1. classify the states of single and multielectron atoms

2. perform vector addition of angular momentum using LS or jj coupling schemes

3. predict allowed transitions in atoms from selection rules

4. calculate electron energy level shifts in a magnetic field

5. predict the rotational and vibrational spectra of polyatomic molecules


Atoms and molecules are the basic building blocks of all matter. Therefore, an understanding of the structure of these entities and their interactions is crucial to a complete understanding of matter. This module will use the quantum theory to makle predictions about atomic and molecular states and look at the experimental evidence which verifies these predictions.

Brief description

This module will discuss the structure of atoms and molecules, discussing theoretical models developed from quantum theory and their verification using the tool of optical and infra-red spectroscopy.


Spectroscopy of the hydrogen atom - gross, fine, and hyperfine structure. Orbital and spin angular momentum in hydrogen. Spin-orbit coupling. Many electron atoms - indistinguishability and the Pauli Exclusion Principle. LS and jj-coupling. Hund's rules.
Optical selection rules in atoms. Alkali and rare earth spectra. Helium and configuration interaction. Zeeman effect - space quantisation. Hyperfine structure - nuclear spin. Rydberg states.   
Born-Oppenheimer approximation. Rotational, vibrational and electronic spectra of diatomic and polyatomic molecules. Instrumentation.

Module Skills

Problem solving Problem solving is a key skill in physics and this wil be tested via lecture problem sheets and in formal examination at the end of the module  
Research skills Students will be set problems in lectures which will entail research in library and over the internet  
Communication Written communication is developed via lecture assignments  
Improving own Learning and Performance Formative assessments are used in order that students might reflect on their progress during the module  
Information Technology Students will be expected to research topics within the module via the internet  
Application of Number All questions set in tests, example sheets and formal exams have numerical problems  
Personal Development and Career planning The module will highlight the latest research in this fields and hence will develop, to an extent, career development.  

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Banwell, C.N. & McMash, E.M (1994) Fundamentals of Molecular Spectroscopy 4th Edition. McGraw-Hill 0077079760
Softly, T. P. (1994) Atomic Spectra 0198556888


This module is at CQFW Level 6