Fall 2020 - CHEM 260 D100

Atoms, Molecules, Spectroscopy (4)

Class Number: 2153

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 9 – Dec 8, 2020: TBA, TBA

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 18, 2020
    Fri, 3:30–6:30 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    CHEM 122, MATH 152, and PHYS 121, 126 or 141 (or PHYS 102 with a minimum grade of B), all with a minimum grade of C-. Recommended: MATH 232.



Elements of physical chemistry from the molecular point of view. Introduction to quantum chemistry, atomic and molecular structure, and spectroscopy. PHYS 285 will be accepted in lieu of CHEM 260. Quantitative.


Please note, this course outline was accurate at the time of publication but is subject to change.

Mode of Teaching:
3 lecture hours/week; 1 tutorial hour/week; 2 lab hours/week
Lecture: Asynchronous
Laboratory: Asynchronous
Tutorial: Synchronous

Lecture Topics:
Introduction to principles of quantum mechanics
Exactly solvable quantum mechanical models
Atomic structure
Chemical bonding
Molecular spectroscopy (microwave, infrared, visible, magnetic resonance, Raman)


  • Labs/Assignments 25%
  • Midterm Exams 25%
  • Final Exam 50%


Grading Notes: OR 25% Labs/Assignments, 0% Midterm Exams, 75% Final Exam, whichever gives the best result.

However, a mark of less than 50% in the lab section of the course and/or a mark of less than 30% in the final exam will result in a grade of F.

Online Exam Invigilation: Students completing exams remotely must comply with the online invigilation procedures implemented by the course instructor.



Technology Requirements:

  • Students are required to have a desktop or laptop computer, high-speed internet access, and a webcam and microphone (built-in or external) to participate in online courses.


Primary Text:

  • P. Atkins, J. de Paula, and J. Keeler, Atkins' Physical Chemistry, 11th Edition, 2018, Publisher: Oxford University Press.
  • P. Atkins and J. de Paula, Physical Chemistry, 10th Edition, 2014, Publisher: Freeman/Worth. Earlier editions are OK.
Other Useful Texts:
  • D. A. McQuarrie and J. D. Simon, Physical Chemistry, 1997, Publisher: University Science Books.
  • Thomas Engel, Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy, 3rd Edition, 2012, Publisher: Pearson.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

A grade of C- or better is required for all prerequisite courses.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).