The Chemical EducatorISSN: 14304171 (electronic version) Abstract Volume 15
(2010) pp 243246 The Quantum Mechanical Spherical Harmonic Oscillator: A Central Field ProblemLarry Eno Department of Chemistry
and Biomolecular Science, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY 136995810,
ko00@clarkson.edu Published: 15 June 2010 Abstract. The quantum mechanical motion of a particle in a central field  here referred to as the central field problem  is prominently featured in the core physical chemistry curriculum. While analysis of the general problem is appropriately effected using spherical polar coordinates, many students find daunting the use of spherical polar coordinates in this context. With this in mind, it may be helpful to introduce analysis of the central field problem through a case which can be readily solved using Cartesian coordinates, specifically the spherical harmonic oscillator. A presentation is given of the spherical harmonic oscillator at the level of the core physical chemistry courses.
Key Words: In the Classroom; physical chemistry, quantum mechanics (*) Corresponding author. (Email: ko00@clarkson.edu) Article in PDF format (51 KB) HTML format
