Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


After completing the course, regarding

I The fundamentals of quantum mechanics the student

  • deepens his/her understanding of the central quantum mechanical concepts and phenomena like the Schrödinger equation, the wave function, quantization, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, and spin. He will also be able to apply these concepts at both the quantitative and qualitative levels to problems in chemistry.

II The structure of atoms and molecules the student can

  • utilize simple quantum mechanical models (i.e. particle-in-a-box, harmonic oscillator, quantum mechanical rigid rotor), to model the behavior of particles and can apply these models to treat spectroscopical phenomena.
  • describe how quantum mechanical principles manifest in atomic structure and the periodic table based on the simplest atomic model (the hydrogen atom).
  • explain how chemical bonds form in simple systems based on modern quantum mechanical theories of chemical bonding (the molecular orbital theory). The student can contrast this model with the previously learned descriptions of chemical bonding and is familiar with the inadequacies of those models.

III Spectroscopy the student

  • knows the principles of rotational, vibrational and electronic spectroscopy and can apply the quantum mechanical picture of atoms and molecules to describe the interactions between matter and electromagnetic radiation. The student can categorize different types of spectroscopies based on the range of energies involved.
  • becomes familiar with some of the standard spectroscopic databases and can independently seek spectroscopic data. He/she knows how to combine the with quantum mechanical theory to determine properties like bond lengths and dissociation energies.

IV Study skills the student

  • obtains better problem solving skills and becomes better equipped to systematically tackle open-ended problems.
  • habituates to studying the lecture material beforehand  and can discuss difficulties in the comprehension of the material with others.

Credits: 5

Schedule: 11.01.2021 - 25.02.2021

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Lauri Partanen

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Lauri Partanen

Contact information for the course (valid 18.12.2020-21.12.2112):For more information contact Lauri Partanen (

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Basics of quantum chemistry, atomic and molecular orbitals, molecular spectroscopy, including rotational, vibrational and XPS spectroscopies.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    See the learning outcomes.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Multiform teaching, exercises, project work, exam

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Grade = Self-assessment (40 %)  + Active participation in review sessions (10 %) + Perusall-reading activities (20 %) + Weekly problems (40 %) + Optional project work (15 %) + Optional exam (20 %)

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Lectures, exercises, project work and midterm exams/exam.

  • Applies in this implementation:

    • Weekly 2h lectures (6*4h = 24 h)
    • Perusall reading assignments (2h per assignment) (11*2 h = 22 h)
    • Weekly 8 h problems (5*8 = 40 h)
    • Exam 4 h
    • Independent studying 45 h


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    T. Engel, Quantum chemistry and spectroscopy (Prentice Hall), or Physical Chemistry

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The course book is Atkins, De Paula, Keeler, Atkins' Physical Chemistry, 11th Ed, Oxford university press 2018. All students will be provided free access to the ebook through the Perusall-platform!

  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    PHYS-A2140 Structure of Matter (CHEM) or equivalent

SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    7 Affordable and Clean Energy

    9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

    17 Partnerships for the Goals


Details on the schedule
  • Applies in this implementation:

    Weekly problem sets to be submitted on a day that will be agreed upon with the students. Perusall deadlines twice weekly with deadlines on Monday and Wednesday.