Molecular Physics


The aim is to provide students with a solid background in Molecular Physics for scientific reserach as well as for technological applications. After approval in this course, the students will be able to understand the technology which is the backbone of the instrumentation used currently in several fields of Physics, Chemistry, and Engineering, which involve the interaction of particles/radiation with matter.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Paulo Manuel Assis Loureiro Limão Vieira


Weekly - 5

Total - 84

Teaching language



Students are required to have a reasonable background on:

Classical Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Electromagnetism, Quantum Mechanics; Physical-Chemistry; Mathematics; English;


- Physics of Atoms and Molecules – B. H. Bransden and C. J. Joachain, 2nd Ed., Prentice Hall, 2003

- Introduction to the Structure of Matter – J. J. Brehm and W. J. Mullin, Wiley, 1989

- Física Quântica – Eisberg e Resnick, Elsevier, 1979

- Atomic and Molecular Collisions – H. Massey, Taylor & Francis, 1979

- Molecular Quantum Mechanics – P. W. Atkins and R. S. Friedman, 3rd Ed., Oxford, 1997

- Modern Atomic Physics – B. Cagnac, J. C. Pebay-Peyroula, The Macillan Press, 1975

- Perspectives of Modern Physics – A. Beiser, McGraw-Hill Int. Ed., 1988

- Quantum States of Atoms. Molecules, and Solids – M. A. Morrison, T. L. Estle, N. F. Lane, Prentice Hall, 1976

- Physical Chemistry – P. W. Atkins, Oxford, 1990

Teaching method

The material will be presented in lectures, followed by discussion of applied problems. The students will have also laboratory work.

Evaluation method


Subject matter

Course contents include:

  1. Review of topics on Quantum Mechanics and Atomic Physics
  2. Introduction to molecular symmetry
  3. Structure of diatomic molecules (homonuclear)
  4. Structure of polyatomic molecules (e.g. biological)
  5. Molecular spectrum (electronic and ro-vibrational)
  6. Atomic collision interactions– classical and quantum interpretation

Electron - atom and electron – molecule collisions


  1. Mass spectrometry I
  2. Mass spectrometry II
  3. Electron Spin Resonance


Programs where the course is taught: