Course Program

The program entails the teaching of scattering theory with emphasis on chemical reactions. It begins with the treatment of one-dimensional quantum scattering, where students encounter for the first time the S matrix and the time-independent and time-dependent methodologies for the resolution of the Schroedinger equation. Subsequently, the three-dimensional case is treated. The scattering from the classical point of view is treated and afterwards I pass to the quantum point of view where the students encounter concepts such as partial wave analysis and the Born approximation. After an extension to the multichannel case, I pass to reactive scattering. The students make the connection between reactive cross-section and reaction rate constant, the concept of cumulative reaction probability is introduced and approximate models for the calculation of the rate constants are discussed (transition state theory and RRKM model).

Bibliographic references

Reaction Dynamics, R. Levine (Cambridge University Press, 2005)

Meccanica Quantistica Molecolare, P. W. Atkins (3a edizione)

Molecular Quantum Mechanics, P. W. Atkins (3rd Edition onwards)

Reaction Dynamics, M. Brouard, Oxford Chemistry Primers

ExamWritten and oral exam


Knowledge of fundamental mathematical analysis (derivatives, integrals, simple ordinary differential equations), knowledge of Fourier transforms and their properties, knowledge of elementary quantum mechanics (Hilbert spaces, observables, the probabilistic model, completeness and orthonormality of basis sets)