About this Book
There are many fine scripts of quantum chemistry and physics in print at this time. So the question can be raised as to why we would write another script, especially one focusing on the smaller discipline of quantum chemistry. When we began this project years ago, we felt that we were a unique juncture in quantum chemistry and technology and that, immodestly, we had a unique perspective to offer to students.
Much of the mainstream of quantum chemistry is now deeply tied to quantum physics, in a cooperative endeavor called “quantum science.” At the same time, there is a large, growing, and vital community of people who use the applications of quantum chemistry to tackle wide-ranging set of problems in the biological, physical and environmental sciences, engineering, medicine and so on.
We thought it was important to bring together, in a single volume, a rigorous, detailed perspective on both the “pure” and “applied” aspects of quantum chemistry. As such, one might find more detail about any particular subject than one might like. We hope this encourages instructors to summarize the script material and present it in a manner most suitable to a particular audience. The amount of material contained in this book is too much for a one quarter or one semester course and a bit too little for a yearlong course. Instructors can pick and choose which material seems most suitable for their course.
We have attempted to present quantum chemistry and the associated applications at a level suitable for an advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate student. We have assumed that a student has prior or concurrent instruction in physical chemistry or modern physics and has some skills in handling differential equations. Our sincere effort in this regard was to spread the solved problems all over this text and that has a lot to do without belief that the best way to learn is by working out problems. The thought provoking homework problems are largely examination questions used at various University. They should be considered to be integral part of the script as they are intended to illustrate or amplify the main points of each chapter. We have taken some pains to use quantum mechanics in a schematic way, that is, to use the conclusions of such considerations without using or demanding a complete, rigorous, approach. The use of hand-waving quantum mechanics, we believe, is appropriate for our general audience. We summarize, in the appendices, some salient features of quantum mechanics that may be useful for those students with limited backgrounds. Our aim is to convey the blend of theory and experiment as well as that of the essence of the ideas and the that characterizes nuclear and quantum chemistry. We have included some more advanced material for those who would like a deeper immersion in the subject.