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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 6 Issue 3 (2001) pp 147-152

Wavepacket Dynamics on One-Dimensional Harmonic Potentials. An Intuitive Approach to the Understanding of Absorption and Luminescence Spectra

Steve Masson, Myriam Triest, and Christian Reber*

Département de chimie, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, Succ. Centre-ville, Montréal QC H3C 3J7, Canada
Received September 11, 2000. Accepted January 17, 2001

Published online: 23 March 2001

Abstract. Absorption and luminescence spectra can be used to derive quantitative information about differences in molecular structure between the ground and excited electronic states. Examples illustrate the effect of the harmonic vibrational frequency and the offset of the potential energy minima along one normal coordinate on the observed spectrum. The time-dependent approach to spectroscopy is used, leading to intuitively appealing visual representations.

Key Words:  In the Classroom; physical chemistry; quantum mechanics; harmonic; spectroscopy

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (465 KB) HTML format

Supporting Materials:

Figure 2 movie (1.55 MB) 10.1007/s00897000466b
Figure 3 movie (1.61 MB) 10.1007/s00897000466c
Figure 4 movie (1.67 MB) 10.1007/s00897000466d
Figure 6 movie (1.75 MB) 10.1007/s00897000466e
Figure 7 movie (1.58 MB) 10.1007/s00897000466f
Figure 8 movie (1.64 MB) 10.1007/s00897000466g

Issue date: June 1, 2001

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