CHEM 750/7500-02 - Advanced Spectroscopy

Semester: Fall 2018

Professor: S. Hopkins | Discipline: Physical | Campus: Waterloo


Molecular spectroscopy is our most powerful tool for determining molecular structure. Very subtle physical interactions in molecules can give rise to very distinct spectral features. Chemistry 750 will explore many of these interactions from a first principles angular momentum coupling perspective. The course will build from microwave spectroscopy, through to high resolution vibrational and electronic spectroscopy. Topics that will be included in chemistry 750 are:

  • Angular momentum operators, matrix elements, and eigenvalues
  • Angular momentum coupling schemes (Hund’s cases)
  • Spin-orbit, spin-spin, L-doubling, and spin-rotation interactions
  • Vibrational angular momentum
  • Selection rules
  • Nuclear spin statistics
  • Fermi and Coriolis perturbations
  • Inversion doubling and fluxional behaviour
  • Electronic orbitals and states
  • Energy level parity
  • Combination differences
  • Franck Condon factors
  • Dissociation and pre-dissociation


The Handbook of Chemistry and Physics is available both in paper format and electronically on reserve in the Davis Centre Library (call number QD65.H3).

The following books will provide helpful insight and alternate viewpoints on the course material:
The Quantum Physicists and an Introduction to Their Physics by William Cropper is a history of the origins of quantum physics. QC 174.1.C7
Fundamentals of Molecular Spectroscopy by C. N. Banwell is a very useful reference book that gives a more detailed look as some of the topics. QD 96.M65B36
Modern Spectroscopy by J. M. Hollas is also a very useful reference book that gives a more detailed look as some of the topics, and includes a good discussion of lasers. QC 451.H65
Molecular Spectroscopy by J. M. Brown provides an in depth look at diatomic molecule spectroscopy. QD 96.M65 B76
Spectra of Atoms and Molecules by P. F. Bernath QC454.A8 B47
Microwave Spectroscopy by C. H. Townes and A. L. Schalow QC454.M5t68x
Molecular Spectra and Molecular Structure by G. Herzberg QC451.H46


Major works: 15 % each (5 at roughly bi-weekly intervals)

Term test: 25% (take home)

Absences from exams or missed problem sets may be accommodated only if a completed Verification of Illness form (available from the “About Us” link at is turned in. Absence for other reasons will result in a grade of zero for that component of the coursework.

You are expected to be familiar with the UW expectations of Academic Integrity, and you are encouraged to complete the online quiz at


No lab or project details provided.


  • Mon: 7:00 pm - 9:20 pm in C2-278/MacN 203

Office Hours

No office hours provided.