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Elementary Processes in Molecular Systems

Module PH2187

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.

Module version of SS 2017

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
SS 2022SS 2021SS 2020SS 2019SS 2018SS 2017WS 2013/4

Basic Information

PH2187 is a semester module in German or English language at Master’s level which is offered in summer semester.

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

  • Specific catalogue of special courses for Biophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics

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 40 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2187 in the version of SS 2017 was Philipp Scherer.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


Fermi's Golden Rule
Electron-Phonon coupling

Intramolecular transitions:
radiative (absorption, fluorescence)
radiationless (internal conversion, intersystem crossing)

Coherent electronic excitations
( molecular aggregates, polymers)

Incoherent energy transfer
(Förster-transfer,  disorder)

Electron transfer
(Marcus' Theory, charge transfer in DNA)

Proton transfer

Learning Outcome

After the course, the participants are able to describe elementary processes in molecular systems on the basis of quantum mechanics.

They are able to describe elementary models for coherent and incoherent energy transfer, electron and proton transfer and to apply these to molecular systems.


elementary quantum mechanics

The lecture "quantum methods for molecular systems" is complementary but not a requirement

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

lecture-style mediation of knowledge

interactive applets visualizing functional dependencies (individual online  studies)

extra materials for more details (individual studies)


Blackboard and projector

Java applets and extra material online

lecture notes online


lecture notes

Scherer, Fischer, Theoretical molecular physics

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

There will be an oral exam of 25 minutes duration. Therein the achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using comprehension questions and sample calculations.

For example an assignment in the exam might be:

  • explain intramolecular processes with an Jablonski diagram
  • Solve the time dependent Schrödinger equation with the time evolution operator
  • apply the model of displaced harmonic oscillators to an optical transition
  • discuss the role of the reorganisation energy
  • describe the absorption spectrum of a molecular dimer
  • which factors are important for intermolecular energy transfer
  • explain Marcus' electron transfer theory qualitatively

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.

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