MIT5_74s09_lec04_1

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MIT OpenCourseWare http://ocw.mit.edu 5.74 Introductory Quantum Mechanics II Spring 2009 For information about citing these materials or our Terms of Use, visit: http://ocw.mit.edu/terms .
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-1 Andrei Tokmakoff, MIT Department of Chemistry, 2/12/2008 A Classical Description of Spectroscopy The traditional quantum mechanical treatment of spectroscopy is often a rather static representation of the rather dynamic process of light interacting with matter. The dynamic picture emerges from a time-domain description, which is similar to the classical treatment of spectroscopy. Much of the physical intuition that is helpful in understanding the nature of light- matter interaction in spectroscopy naturally emerges from the classical view. Let’s review that: The classical view begins with the observation that atoms and molecules are composed of charged particles, and these charges are the handle by which an electromagnetic field exerts a force on the atom or molecule. The force exerted on the molecules depends on the strength of the field, the magnitude of the charges, and how far the charges move. The simplest elements of a model that captures what happens in absorption spectroscopy require us to consider a charged particle in a bound potential interacting with a harmonic driving force. The matter can be expressed in terms of a particle with charge
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