Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia

Molecular Physics



Academic unit

Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia


Departamento de Física



Teacher in charge

Paulo Manuel Assis Loureiro Limão Vieira

Weekly hours


Teaching language



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.


Students are required to have a reasonable background on:

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

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


- 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.