Stockholm university
Gå till denna sida på svenska webben

Molecular Physics

Why does alcohol mix with water but not oil? Why does water freeze at 273 K and boil at 373 K? How can the structure of a molecule dictate how it absorbs and emits light? This course takes a fundamental look at how molecules are made, and how their properties can be investigated and understood.

The course starts with a description of how the concept of symmetry can be applied to describe the geometrical structure of molecules. The foundations of group theory are introduced, and then applied to describe molecular structure, electronic structure, the vibrational and rotation motion, as well as deriving selections rules for interaction with electromagnetic radiation. The experimental techniques used to study molecular properties are described. Examples from different areas of experimental molecular physics, such as ultra-fast laser spectroscopy, storage rings for ions, and X-ray and synchrotron based radiation, are used to illustrate the theoretical concepts.

  • Course structure

    This is a second cycle course given at half speed during daytime. This course can also be taken as a third cycle course.

    Teaching format

    The teaching consists of seminars, supported by group education, peer review, and obligatory laboratory exercises.


    The course is examined by a final oral examination, and continual assessment through peer-review and discussion.


    Richard Thomas, Phone: +468 5537 8784, E-mail:

    Markus Kowalewski, Phone: +468 5537 9661, E-mail:


  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    “Spectra of Atoms and Molecules (Topics in Physical Chemistry)”, by  Peter F. Bernath,  Published by Oxford University Press, ISBN 10: 0195075986 ISBN 13: 9780195075984

  • Contact

    Course coordinators and teachers:
    Markus Kowalewski , phone: +468 5537 8661, e-mail:
    Richard Thomas, phone: +468 5537 8784, e-mail:

    Sergey Koroidov, phone: +468 5537 8687, e-mail:

    Course assistant:
    José Eduardo Navarro Navarrete, e-mail:


    Academic advisor at the Department of Physics:

    Student office: