Combustion Physics

Lund University

Molecular physics

Molecules play an important role in our world. All biological life and what was described by the ancient Greeks as the four elements, earth, water, air and fire, require knowledge on molecular properties. Therefore it is of vital interest to understand how these can be detected and identified.

Maybe you have studied atomic physics and know how one can extract a vast number of properties of an atomic species and its environment just by studying and interpreting its spectral signature. If you found that interesting, you will find great pleasure in continuing your studies for molecules, and really see how the theories developed and used in atomic physics are extended in molecular physics, making it possible to use spectral signatures for instance for species-specific detection.

Schematic view of the energy levels of a diatomic molecule. Both the molecular vibration and rotation are quantisized. This can be observed for instance in the blue-green light from a candle flame. 

Administrativ info

Course code: FBR030, FYST36
Period: HT2
Credits: 7,5 Hp
Responsible: Zhongshan Li

More information about the course in the Department of Physics Course Database

Contents and outline

The course treats how molecules interact with electromagnetic radiation. Much emphasis is put on diatomic molecules and simpler polyatomic molecules, both theoretical and practical. Properties such as attractive forces, bounding distances, moment of inertia, molecular mass and temperature can be read from measured spectra. The course mainly covers interaction with molecules in the gas phase.

The course has 14 lectures, 3 exercises, 2 laboratory exercises, and 1 small project which is presented both orally and written. The examination consists of a written examination.