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EPC1 Molecular physics and solid state physics 1

This lecture in the 5th semester of the bachelor's program gives in the first 8 weeks an introduction to molecular physics, in particular to the spectroscopy of the fundamental excitations of molecules (rotation, vibration, electronic excitation). In the last third, crystal lattices, phonons and their dispersion are introduced.

The selection and weighting of the topics is very much in line with what is usual in Bayreuth. I would like to take this opportunity to thank especially Jürgen Köhler and Anna Köhler, whose lecture notes were a great help to me.

In addition to the script, there is about an hour of "lecture" on video for each chapter, in which I verbally guide you through the text and scribble in the margins. I have the impression that it is easier for me to put things into context when I speak than when I write, because I dare to be sloppier. In preparation, there was an online multiple-choice quiz and the possibility to ask questions anonymously at any time via frag.jetzt. In the plenum (in person or via video conference) we discussed open questions and tasks similar to Eric Mazur's ConcepTests. Finally, there are the usual physics problem sheets and small group exercises. Some exercises and examples use Julia and Pluto.

This script is a work in progress and will probably never be finished. I would like to thank all the students who read the text and equations carefully, which allowed us to correct many errors. However, there will still be some. If you find any, please let me know. You can find the latest version of the lecture notes on github. I put everything under a CC-BY-SA license. In other words, you can do whatever you want with it. If you make your work available to the public, give me credit and use a similar license.

The text was typeset using the 'tufte-book' LaTeX class by Bil Kleb, Bill Wood, and Kevin Godby, which approximates the work of Edward Tufte. I applied many of the modifications introduced by Dirk Eddelbüttel in the R package 'tint'.

Lecture notes (German)

Latex & pdf, CC-BY-SA 4.0 (2022) doi, pdf, github, videos

Concept of the lecture (German)

pdf, Video


I Theory of molecular bonding

  •     1 Valence bond theory and the shape of molecules
  •     2 Molecular orbital theory I - The very simplest molecule
  •     3 Molecular orbital theory II - More electrons and more nuclei

II Spectroscopy of molecules

  •     4 Overview and macroscopic description
  •     5 Rotational spectroscopy
  •     6 Vibrational spectroscopy in the infrared
  •     7 Raman scattering
  •     8 Spectroscopy of electronic transitions

III Solid state physics I

  •     9 Crystal lattice
  •     10 The reciprocal lattice
  •     11 Phonons
  •     12 Heat capacity of phonons


  •     A Julia and Pluto
  •     B Addition of angular momentum
  •     C Fourier transformation

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