CHEMICAL PHYSICS PIZZZA SEMINAR SERIES
"Group Theory & Molecular Gymnastics"
Texas A \& M University
In the early days of quantum mechanics, ``Gruppenpest” was the
epithet many physicists applied to the then novel mathematics Eugene
Wigner used in 1926 for ``the deliberate utilization of elementary
symmetry properties.” Today, group theory has an aristocratic role in
many domains of physics. Yet it is seldom taught even in graduatelevel
quantum mechanics courses. This seminar offers a workaday
approach, illustrated with applications to molecular spectroscopy.
Heuristic use of symmetry is exemplified by inferring the energy level
pattern and selection rules for transitions of an asymmetric rotor. Also
visited is the more gymnastic case with a methyl group attached to the
asymmetric rotor, where terms in the molecular Hamiltonian have
different symmetry properties. Such terms compete and dominate in
different regions of the spectrum.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
IQSE 578, 11:30 a.m.
Mitchell Physics Building
(Pizza, salad, and soda served at 12:30 PM outside IQSE 578)
(The Insight Club will meet Nov 3 at 10 AM in IQSE 578)
THE INSTITUTE FOR QUANTUM
SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING