Atomic and Molecular Physics


The aim of theoretical and theoretical-practical classes is to understand the concepts and physical processes, emphasizing rigor in language and the application of knowledge to the equation and methodical resolution of real problems.

The purpose of laboratory classes is to learn experimental methods related to atomic and molecular physics, systematize the collection and treatment of experimental results and the preparation of scientific report

General characterization





Responsible teacher

José Paulo Moreira dos Santos


Weekly - 5

Total - 72

Teaching language



Previous approval in the following courses: Electromagnetism and Quantum Mechanics.


  • J. P. Santos, Apontamentos de Física Atómica.
  • S. Gasiorowicz, Quantum Physics, 2nd Ed., John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1996.
  • B. H. Bransden and C. J. Joachain, Physics of Atoms and Molecules, 2nd Ed., Prentice Hall, 2003.
  • M. Weissbluth, Atoms and Molecules, Academic Press, New York (1978).
  • H. Haken e H. C. Wolf, The physics of atoms and quanta: introduction to experiments and theory, Springer Verlag, Berlin (2000).
  • J. P. Santos e M. F. Laranjeira, Métodos Matemáticos para Físicos e Engenheiros, Fundação da Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Lisboa, 2004.
  • H. Haken e H. C. Wolf, Molecular physics and elements of quantum chemistry: introduction to experiments and theory, Springer Verlag, Berlin (2004).
  • Peter Atkins and Ronald Friedman, Molecular quantum mechanics, 5th ed, Oxford University Press (2011)

Teaching method

The course is organized in lectures where the theory is presented, problem-solving sessions where problems are discussed with the instructor, and laboratory sessions.

Evaluation method

Available soon

Subject matter

Hydrogen-like atoms

Review on the atomic model and the Schrödinger equation solution for the hydrogen; angular momentum; atoms in fields; radiative transitions; selection rules; Zeeman effect; spin.

Many electrons atoms

Pauli Principle andd symmetry; lhelium atom; central field approximation; L, S e j, j coupling; Auger electrons;  Einstein coefficeints; X-ray; He-Ne laser 

Molecular structure

Molecules; different sets of bonding; Schrödinger equation for molecular systems; Born-Oppenheimer and adiabatic approximations; molecular states: vibrational, rotational and electronic; radiative and non-radiative transitions; molecular clusters; polyatomic molecules.



  1. Photoelectric Emission
  2. Electron Beam Diffraction
  3. Gas discharges
  4. Franck-Hertz experiment
  5.  X-ray
  6. Mass spectrometry
  7. Electron Spin Resonance


Programs where the course is taught: