Quantum Mechanics of Molecular Systems

Module PH2165

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Basic Information

PH2165 is a semester module in German or English language at Master’s level which is offered irregular.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • General catalogue of special courses
  • Specific catalogue of special courses for Biophysics

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 75 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2165 is Philipp Scherer.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


Schrödinger equation and wavefunctions

particle in a box
harmonic oscillator
anharmonic corrections
rigid rotor

molecular states

Born-Oppenheimer approximation

electron structure calculations for molecular systems (LCAO-MO)

electron-vibration coupling

transitions between states,

semiclassical curve crossing

Landau-Zener model

time dependent perturbation theory

Fermi's golden rule
optical transitions


Learning Outcome

After participating, the students are able to apply simple quantum mechanical models to molecular systems to analyse molecular states and transitions


basic quantum mechanics

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

VU 4 Quantum Mechanics of Molecular Systems Scherer, P. Donnerstag, 10:00–12:00

Learning and Teaching Methods

lecture-style mediation of knowledge

interactive applets visualizing functional dependencies (individual sudies)

extra materials for more details (individual studies)




lecture notes

Java applets

extra material (additional notes)


P.O.J. Scherer, S.F. Fischer Theoretical Molecular Biophysics

Haken, Wolf Molekülphysik und Quantenchemie

Schwabl, quantum mechanics

lecture notes

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

In an oral exam the learning outcome is tested using comprehension questions and sample problems.

In accordance with §12 (8) APSO the exam can be done as a written test. In this case the time duration is 60 minutes.

Exam Repetition

There is a possibility to take the exam at the end of the semester.

Condensed Matter

When atoms interact things can get interesting. Fundamental research on the underlying properties of materials and nanostructures and exploration of the potential they provide for applications.

Nuclei, Particles, Astrophysics

A journey of discovery to understanding our world at the subatomic scale, from the nuclei inside atoms down to the most elementary building blocks of matter. Are you ready for the adventure?


Biological systems, from proteins to living cells and organisms, obey physical principles. Our research groups in biophysics shape one of Germany's largest scientific clusters in this area.