Chem 131A: Quantum Principles

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to quantum mechanics and principles of quantum chemistry with applications to nuclear motions and the electronic structure of the hydrogen atom. It also examines the Schrödinger equation and study how it describes the behavior of very light particles, the quantum description of rotating and vibrating molecules is compared to the classical description, and the quantum description of the electronic structure of atoms is studied.

Copyright Information

Shaka, A.J. Quantum Principles 131A (UCI OpenCourseWare: University of California, Irvine), [January 20, 2015]. License: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. (
Chem 131A: Quantum Principles
One of the many quantum mechanical principles studied in this course is the Born-Oppenheimer. This picture shows Born-Oppenheimer surfaces. They are surfaces (or hypersurfaces) because they must be viewed as continuous functions of R.

Source: - The Born-Oppenheimer approximation.

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Video Lectures & Study Materials

Visit the official course website for more study materials:

# Lecture Play Lecture
1 Introduction (44:44) Play Video
2 Particles, Waves, the Uncertainty Principle and Postulates (52:39) Play Video
3 More Postulates, Superposition, Operators and Measurement (50:42) Play Video
4 Complementarity, Quantum Encryption, Schrodinger Equation (52:12) Play Video
5 Model 1D Quantum Systems - "The Particle In a Box" (51:42) Play Video
6 Quantum Mechanical Tunneling (49:28) Play Video
7 Tunneling Microscopy and Vibrations (51:41) Play Video
8 More on Vibrations and Approximation Techniques (53:12) Play Video
9 Potentials + Quantization in Two Spatial Dimensions (50:03) Play Video
10 Particles on Rings and Spheres... A Prelude to Atoms (45:07) Play Video
11 Particle on a Sphere, Angular Momentum (51:01) Play Video
12 Spin, The Vector Model and Hydrogen Atoms (51:23) Play Video
13 Hydrogen Atoms: Radial Functions & Solutions (48:03) Play Video
14 Atomic Spectroscopy Selection Rules, Coupling, and Terms (53:11) Play Video
15 Hydrogen Wavefunctions, Quantum Numbers, Term Symbols (46:30) Play Video
16 Energy Level Diagrams, Spin-Orbit Coupling, Pauli Principle (47:48) Play Video
17 Approximation Methods: Variational Principle, Atomic Units (51:31) Play Video
18 The Hydride Ion (Continued): Two-Electron Systems (51:44) Play Video
19 The Hydride Ion (Try #3!) The Orbital Philosophy (52:48) Play Video
20 Hartree-Fock Calculations, Spin, and Slater Determinants (51:54) Play Video
21 Bigger Atoms, Hund's Rules and the Aufbau Principle (53:06) Play Video
22 The Born-Oppenheimer Approximation and H2+ (50:41) Play Video
23 LCAO-MO Approximation Applied to H2+ (44:53) Play Video
24 Molecular Orbital: The Virial Theorem in Action (46:45) Play Video
25 Optimizing H2+ Molecular Orbital, H2, & Config Interaction (51:13) Play Video
26 Qualitative MO Theory (53:16) Play Video
27 CH4 Molecular Orbitals and Delocalized Bonding (50:06) Play Video
28 What We've Covered: Course Summary (50:31) Play Video


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