Quantum Chemistry in 3 lectures: lecture 3

So lectures 1 and 2 took place last week, and seemed to be received reasonably well. Lecture 3 is scheduled for Tuesday morning. In this lecture I introduce the Schrodinger equation and the Hamiltonian operator, and talk about how the equation is solved for the particle in a box, the harmonic oscillator, and the hydrogen atom. Because the class have mixed experience of maths, I try to keep the maths content to a minimum, and instead stress concepts. This seems to work OK for the first two examples, but it’s hard to do convincingly for the hydrogen atom. The bit that seems to make sense even without detailed maths is where the wavfunction is split into radial and angular dependent parts, and interpreted in terms of the different orbitals. But at least the lecture seems to tell a coherent story! I’ll discuss more in the next post, when I’ll also descibe my preparations for the statistical thermodynamics lectures.

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