Ge/Ay 132: Atomic and Molecular
Instructor: Geoffrey A. Blake
When offered: Fall quarter of 2012
(Classes run Oct. 1st to Dec. 7th).
Where offered: M-T-W 9-10 am, 162-176-162 S. Mudd
This course discusses the fundamental aspects of atomic and molecular spectra that enable one to infer physical conditions in astronomical, planetary and terrestrial environments from the analysis of their electromagnetic radiation. Topics will include the structure and spectra of atoms, molecules and solids; transition probabilities; photoionization and recombination; collisional processes; gas-phase chemical reactions and isotopic fractionation. Each topic will be illustrated with applications in astronomy and planetary sciences, ranging from planetary atmospheres and dense interstellar clouds to the early universe.
Target audience: Beginning graduate students and advanced undergraduates in the Divisions of Geological & Planetary Sciences and Physics, Mathematics & Astronomy as well as other students throughout Caltech.
Grades will be based on problem sets, a mid-term take-home exam (one of the middle, slightly extended, problem sets) and a final exam. The final exam will consist of a written part, and a 15-20 minute talk on a subject of your choice connected to the course. If people are interested, there may be a possibility of doing some lab work to supplement the class.
Problem Set #1: Handed out 10/08/12; due 10/19/12.
Problem Set #2: Handed out 10/22/12; due 11/02/12.
Problem Set #3: Handed out 11/05/12; due 11/16/12.
Problem Set #4: Handed out 11/19/02; due 11/30/12.
Final Presentations: 12/11-14/12.
PART ONE: ATOMS
I. Hydrogen Atom
II. N-electron Atoms
III. Atoms and Radiation
IV. Photoionization and Recombination
V. Collisional Processes
PART TWO: MOLECULES
VII. Overview of Molecular Structure
VIII. Rotational Spectroscopy
IX. Vibrational Spectroscopy
X. Electronic Spectroscopy
XI. Molecular Processes
Much of the lecture notes for the course are those developed in collaboration with Prof. Ewine F. van Dishoeck. She, in turn, credits Profs. J. H. Black, now at the Chalmers University of Technology, and A. Dalgarno of Harvard University.
Course MaterialsCourse Syllabus (PDF 64k)
List of Reading Materials to be Placed on Reserve
Notes about Lectures, Reading
or go to Adobe website to get Acrobat Reader.