nl en

Building Blocks of Quantum Matter


Admission Requirements

First-year courses Introduction to Modern Physics, Calculus, Linear Algebra, second-year courses Quantum Mechanics 1 & 2.


The Universe is both light and dark. In this course, we focus on the light and what its spectral content can teach us about the elemental and molecular composition of luminous objects (stars, clouds, lamps, etc.) in space and on Earth. In order to answer this question we have to go well beyond what was taught in the Quantum Mechanics courses about the energy-level structure of the Hydrogen atom and learn about multi-electron atoms and simple molecules. Experimental data will guide us in the development of the theoretical concepts and models. We will discuss the very important role of symmetries, in particular in molecules.

Course objectives

After completion of this course, you will be able to apply the rules of quantum mechanics to the structure and spectroscopy of atoms and simple molecules. With that knowledge you'll be able to critically analyse research papers involving spectroscopic data.

Transferable Skills

By following this course you get a sense of how to make simplifying assumptions in complex problems and the use of hierarchy of energy and time scales.


For detailed information go to Timetable in Brightspace

Mode of instruction

See Brightspace

Assessment method



All relevant material will be published on Brightspace
Registration for Brightspace occurs via uSis by registration for a class activity using a class number

Reading list

J. Micahel Hollas: Modern Spectroscopy (4th edition), John Wiley & Sons, publisher
Other reading material, in the form of a syllabus, will be provided as the course develops.


Contact details lecturer: Dr. J. Tura Brugués