Introduction to Quantum ChemistryAuthor: Michelle Francl, Ph.D.
21 Jan 2017

Introduction to Quantum Chemistry

Audio feed of lectures in introductory physical chemistry at Bryn Mawr College. Why are Cheetos orange and flamingos pink? Why do they call it "burning" a CD? Are pi orbitals real? The answers to these questions and more!

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    The last lecture

    In which we say good-bye...and consider how a laser "amplifies" light. The truly dedicated student can build a laser by following the directions at Sam's Laser site. Lasers can be built from a number of different materials, including Jello!

  • Posted on 01 Jun 2006

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    Fiat Lux! Population inversion is the key to successful lasing

    Population inversion is a key feature of a system which be used to construct a laser. A system in thermal equilibrium follows Boltzmann's statistics, in which the number of molecules in higher energy states is smaller than the number in the lowest energy state. Lasers require that you have a non-equilibrium situation established, in which more molecules are "stuck" in an excited state than are currently in a lower energy state. This phenomenon is called population inversion. A second feature of lasers is that the emission process(the release of a photon when a molecule or atom relaxes from an excited state to a lower energy state) can be stimulated, or enhanced by the emissions from other molecules. This is where the "se" in the name comes from! (LASER = Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation).

  • Posted on 01 Jun 2006

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    Lumos! The Quantum Mechanics of Harry Potter

    We wrap up NMR and begin to consider the quantum mechanics behind lasers. Lasers are magic wands for chemists, making it possible to explore what happens in chemical processes on very short time scales. Lasers are ubiquitous tools in everyday life, too. Grocery store scanners and CD players use lasers to read information, an when you "burn" a CD, a laser is used to literally score the material.

  • Posted on 01 Jun 2006

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    A Pocket NMR?

    Could you build an NMR that could fit in your pocket? The effect of magnetic field on the splitting between nuclear spin states. What would happen if you walked through a very strong magnetic field? Say a million Tesla field? Are there such fields? We propose building a pocket-sized NMR from a cow magnet. It could be done, if you're not interested in very high resolution.

  • Posted on 01 Jun 2006

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    Magnetic Personalities: NMR

    The quantum mechanics of nuclear spins. How a magnetic field splits degenerate spin states of at nuclei, setting the stage for NMR. Why do MRI machines need such strong magnets? What's a cow magnet?

  • Posted on 01 Jun 2006

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