Name of course:

Molecular Physics

ECTS credits: 5

Course parameters:

Language: Danish or English (depending on the participants)

Level of course: Master or PhD 

Time of year: April 2015 

No. of hours: Approx. 3 hours of lectures and 4 hours exercise classes. 

Capacity limits: 15

Objectives of the course:

The course provides the students with knowledge of fundamental aspects of the physics of molecules. Emphasis is on the description of their structure and on electronic, vibrational and rotational properties.

Learning outcomes and competences:

At the end of the course, the student should be able to

  • give an account for electronic, properties and binding in molecules
  • describe vibrations and rotations
  • discuss molecules from a symmetry point of view
  • discuss the statistical properties of isolated molecules (energy, temperature and level densities) as well as the decay of hot molecules
  • describe the electronic structure of organic chromophores and give an account of their absorption properties
  • know basic principles of electronic structure theory


 Course contents:

The course starts with a description of di-atomic molecules including a discussion of the importance of nuclear spin. Chemical bonding of poly-atomic molecules is discussed together with the concept of hybrid orbitals. Group theory is used to discuss symmetry properties of poly-atomic molecules and selection rules for radiative transitions. Hot molecules are treated from a statistical perspective and temperature and level densities are discussed. Thermionic emission of anions is discussed as a special case. Photo-physical properties of organic chromophores are discussed as well as aspects of color tuning in different media. Electronically excited states are discussed in relation to dissociation.


‘Statistical physics’ and ‘Atomic- and molecular physics’

Name of lecturer:

Lars H. Andersen

Type of course/teaching methods:

A mixture of lectures, literature reading and exercises. Some numerical work will also be done. If time allows we might also perform laser-based molecular experiments in the laboratory.


Molecular Quantum Mechanics’ by Atkins and Friedman, lecture notes, and scientific papers

Course homepage:


Course assessment:

Oral examination with 7-scale evaluation (internal marking).


Department of Physics and Astronomy


1 April to 31 April 2015


Campus, 8000 Aarhus C


Information regarding admission will be sent in week 43


For registration:



If you have any questions, please contact Lars H. Andersen (


Comments on content: 
Revised 20.06.2016