Molecular Physical Chemistry

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

The course introduces elementary quantum mechanical models for different kinds of molecular motion, for instance translation, rotation and vibration. In turn, these models provide a basic understanding of:


1) Atomic and molecular properties, chemical bonding and intermolecular interactions.


2) Important spectroscopic methods such as UV/Vis, IR, MW and NMR.


In addition, by using statistical thermodynamics it is demonstrated how molecular properties obtained from simple quantum mechanical models and spectroscopic data, can explain macroscopic thermodynamical properties, primarily for ideal gases and their reactions and equilibria.


The course also includes a few simple examples from topics like adsorption, surface phenomena and macromolecules.


Freely available software is used for visualisation and calculation during the course.

Learning Outcomes

After completing the course KJEM140 the student will have the following:


The student

  • knows about important quantum mechanical principles
  • knows about basic principles for selected spectroscopic methods


The student

  • is able to describe the quantum mechanical properties of simple modes of motion
  • is able to discuss atomic electronic structure theory, chemical bonding models, and intermolecular forces
  • is able to explain how molecular information can be obtained using spectroscopic methods on simple system
  • is able to explain how statistical thermodynamics connects molecular properties and macroscopic thermodynamical features


The student

  • can perform simple quantum mechanical calculations for selected molecular systems
  • can perform simple statistical calculation on assemblies of small molecules in the gaseous phase

Semester of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
KJEM212: 5stp
Access to the Course
Access to the course requires admission to a programme of study at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Mandatory written exercises. Participation in minimum 6 colloquium. Compulsory work are valid for five following semesteres.
Forms of Assessment

Approved mandatory written exercises.

Digital written exam (4h), counts for 100% of the final grade.

Grading Scale
The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.
Assessment Semester
Examination both spring semester and autumn semester. In semesters without teaching the examination will be arranged at the beginning of the semester.
Reading List
The reading list will be available within July 1st for the autumn semester and January 1st for the spring semester
Course Evaluation

The course will be evaluated by the students in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the department

Examination Support Material
Non-programmable calculator, according to the faculty regulations
Programme Committee
The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.
Course Coordinator
Contact information for the course coordinator is available at «Mitt UiB», alternatively contact the student advisor.
Course Administrator
The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences and Department of Chemistry are administratively responsible for the course.