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University of Washington, Department of Chemistry Physical Chemistry: Quantum Chemistry & Spectroscopy Chem 455A (SLN

University of Washington, Department of Chemistry

Physical Chemistry: Quantum Chemistry & Spectroscopy

Chem 455A (SLN 12155, 3 credits), Spring 2015


The website is the central resource for this course.


Professor Stefan Stoll, (email turnaround time 48 hours) Office hours: Tue 4:30pm-5:30pm, Bagley Hall 227

Teaching assistant

Donald Mannikko, Office hours: Fri 12:00pm-1:00pm, Chemistry Study Center, Bagley Hall 330


Lecture MWF 8:30-9:20am,

Bagley Hall 261

Tutorial Th 8:30-9:20am, Bagley Hall 261 Changes to the schedule will be posted on the website. The tutorial is an opportunity to ask questions, discuss class material, and review prerequisite topics and skills. Attendance is encouraged.


One of the following will be required:

- T. Engel, Quantum Chemistry & Spectroscopy, 2nd ed. (2010) - T. Engel and P. Reid, Physical Chemistry, 2nd ed. (2010) Chapters 1-14 in Quantum Chemistry & Spectroscopy are identical to chapters 12- 25 in Physical Chemistry. If you plan to take Chem 456 or Chem 457 later, get the second one. There are 3 rd editions of these books available, but they are more expensive and not substantially different. Either edition will work. Additional reading suggestions are listed on the course website. Keep in mind that the textbook does not replace the lectures it is just an additional perspective on the material of the course.

Other resources

This course comes with a list of short videos that are posted on YouTube and on the Canvas website. Other material, including online resources for reference data etc, will be posted on the course website as well.

Prerequisites Before enrolling in this course, you should have had a solid introduction to chemistry and physics, and be familiar with multi-variable calculus. Course prerequisites: Chem 162 (or equivalent), Math 126 (or equivalent), Phys 116 or Phys 123; Math 307 or Math 308 recommended. Topics and skills from these foundational courses will be used. If you are not comfortable with calculus, refresh your skills early in the quarter.


The final score (between 0 and 100%) will be based on the points obtained on the video quizzes (10% total), homework sets (20% total), two midterm exams (20%

each, 40% total), and the final exam (30%). The final score is converted to a grade using a curve.


First midterm:

Wednesday 22 Apr 2015, in class

Second midterm:

Monday 18 May 2015, in class


Tuesday 9 Jun 2015, 8:30am-10:20am, Bagley 261

These dates are preliminary. Check the website for possible changes.

Homework There will be one problem set per week. The schedule is available on the website. Problem sets will generally be posted to the website on Monday evenings. They must be submitted to the marked course mailbox (#71) on the third floor of Bagley Hall by the date and time stated on the problem set, usually the Monday after at 5:00pm. Late submissions will NOT be accepted. Collaboration on homework sets is encouraged, but each student must turn in their own individual problem sets. Answer keys will be posted on the website. Do your homework; it’s the only way you can find out whether you understand the material.

Video quizzes Before every lecture, I will post one or several short pre-lecture warm-up quizzes to the website. Each quiz consists of 3-5 questions on a short video about a concept that is going to be discussed in the upcoming class. Videos and quizzes are posted one or two days before class time. If there is no quiz posted 24h before class, there will be no quiz for that class.

Collaboration Quantum theory is challenging, confusing and at times frustrating. One of the best resource you have for exploring and understanding the material presented in this course are your classmates. You are encouraged to work with others on the homework, but must turn in homework sets separately as individuals (written in your own hand). On exams, original independent work is assumed in accord with best academic integrity principles.

Academic Accommodations If you would like to request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disability Resources for Students, 448 Schmitz, 206-543-8924 (V) or 206-543-8925 (TTY). If you have a letter from Disability Resources for Students indicating you have a disability that requires academic accommodations, please meet with the instructor as soon as possible to discuss the accommodations you need.