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notes01_qm1_wave_particle - Physical Chemistry II Course...

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Physical Chemistry II – Course Notes Graeme Henkelman October 7, 2006 Course Overview These notes contain an outline of the topics covered in the physical chemistry II course. We will not cover all the material in the textbook, so here I will briefly describe what we talked about in class, and indicate the sections that I think are most important. The aim of the course is to show how macroscopic quantities in physical chemistry are derived from microscopic properties and first principle theory. The laws which gov- ern microscopic particles, such as electrons, atoms, and molecules are those of quantum mechanics. This will be the subject of the first part of the course. The second topic, statistical mechanics, is the basis for connecting the microscopic description of collec- tions of atoms with macroscopic, thermodynamic quantities, such as temperature and pressure. Finally, we will focus on applications such as reaction rates. Throughout the course, we will take a molecular viewpoint, and derive results from fundamental principles. At times this will require tedious calculations, but I think it’s worth seeing where macroscopic quantities (such as temperature) come from. This will be a change from the introductory chemistry approach of first learning simplified principles, and then relearning them subsequently with more detail. 1 Quantum Mechanics The physics that governs atoms and the electronic structure of atoms is that of quantum mechanics. At these small scales, the relevant laws of physics change dramatically from the classical world that we are familiar with. We will start by talking about a few experimental observations that motivated the development of quantum mechanics, then state the postulates, and finally use them to derive properties of a few model systems.
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