2023-2024 / CHIM9288-1

Spectroscopy and statistical thermodynamics elements


30h Th, 20h QA Sess.

Number of credits

 Bachelor in chemistry4 crédits 


Bernard Leyh

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The course consists of two parts:

(i) Spectroscopy: the course aims at completing the teaching started in the 2nd bachelor year introductory course. The quantum mechanical concepts taught in the theoretical chemistry course (Prof. F. Remacle) are the foundations for the present lectures. The following topics will be considered:

  • interaction between electromagnetic radiation and matter
  • principles and applications of lasers
  • atomic spectroscopy
  • rotational spectroscopy
  • infrared and Raman vibrational spectroscopy
  • molecular electronic spectroscopy
(ii) Introduction to statistical thermodynamics:

  • Basic Assumptions and Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics
  • Quantum statistics: Fermi-Dirac and Bose-Einstein
  • Applications of Maxwell-Boltzmann statistics
  • Transition state theory in chemical kinetics

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of the course, the students are expected to be able (i) to elaborate on the essential concepts developed in the theoretical lectures, (ii) to choose the appropriate spectroscopical method depending on the requested information, (iii) to interpret various atomic and molecular spectra of moderate complexity, and (iv) to use the tools of statistical thermodynamics to calculate state functions and equilibrium constants.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Knowledge of the basic concepts of mathematics (functions, derivatives, integrals, simple differential equations), physics and general chemistry, taught in the first two years of chemistry studies at ULiège, is required.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

Exercice classes are organized in parallel with the theoretical lectures. They aim at favouring a deeper understanding and a better integrated knowledge of the theoretical framework.

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

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

2 hour lectures per week organized during the first semester. Schedule available on CELCAT: https://www.sciences.uliege.be/cms/c_4007918/fr/facsc-horaires

Exercise classes are also organized. See schedule on CELCAT.


Recommended or required readings

Copies of powerpoint slides will be available. The following textbooks may be used as reference texts:
R. Kakkar, Atomic and Molecular Spectroscopy: Basic Concepts and Applications, Cambridge University Press (Cambridge, UK, 2015)
M. J. Hollas, Modern Spectroscopy, Wiley, 4th ed.,  (Chichester, UK, 2004)

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( open-ended questions ) AND oral exam

Additional information:

A written and oral examination on problem-solving and on the theoretical course takes place in January. A second examination period takes place in August-September.
The final grade takes all partial assessments into account.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


Bernard Leyh, Molecular Dynamics Laboratory, Builiding B6c, Office R77, 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