2023-2024 / CHIM9285-1

Chemical Kinetics, Introduction to Spectroscopy and Group Theory


35h Th, 20h QA Sess.

Number of credits

 Bachelor in chemistry6 crédits 


Bernard Leyh

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Introduction to spectroscopy and group theory
This introductory course focusses on two spectroscopic techniques which find extensive applications in inorganic, organic and analytical chemistry. The following topics will be taught:

  • Brief reminder of basic concepts of quantum mechanics, taught in course CHIM0704-1 (co-requisite), in particular the quantum theory of angular momenntum
  • One-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1D-NMR)
  • Infrared vibrational spectroscopy: basic concepts and application to diatomic molecules
  • Infrared vibrational spectroscopy of polyatomic molecules
  • Introduction to group theory and application to the analysis of vibrational normal modes of polyatomic molecules
Chemical kinetics

  • Phenomenological rate laws
  • Experimental techniques
  • Complex multi-step reactions
  • Acid-base catalysis
  • Heterogeneous catalysis

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of the course, the student is expected to be able

  • to explain the basic physical principles which govern spectroscopic experiments (nuclear magnetic resonance and infrared spectroscopy);
  • to infer, in cases of moderate difficulty, as much information as possible from experimental spectroscopic data;
  • to explain the main concepts of group theory and to apply it to determine which vibrational normal modes are active in infrared spectroscopy;
  • to explain and to apply the basic tools of physical chemistry to account for the dynamical processes leading to equilibrium.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Co-requisite: CHIM0704-1 - Theoretical chemistry

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

There is no laboratory work foreseen for this course. Problem-solving classes are organized. Problems of both theoretical and numerical nature will be solved.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

Two-hour lectures during the second quadrimester focussed on the theory.
Several problem-solving classes (alltogether 20 hours).

Recommended or required readings

Lecture notes are available as well as pdf versions of the powerpoint slides.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( open-ended questions ) AND oral exam

Additional information:

Written (exercises) and oral (theory) examinations in May or June (1st session) and August or September (2nd session).
In order to obtain a global grade of at least 8/20, the student will have to reach a grade of at least 8/20 in each part of the oral examination: spectroscopy, group theory and kinetics.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

See official agenda:



Bernard Leyh, Molecular Dynamics Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, Building B6c, Office R77, Lab S48 - Phone : 04/3663425 - E-mail : Bernard.Leyh@uliege.be

Teaching assistant: Vincent Natalis, Building B6c, Office 2/7 (2nd floor, north), vincent.natalis@uliege.be, Phone : 04/3663335

Association of one or more MOOCs