Date of Award


Document Type

Union College Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science






The physics of microscopic phenomena is called quantum mechanics. When quantum mechanics is extended to the macroscopic scale, the classical macroscopic physics results. Atomic interactions such as the formation of bonds between atoms falls into the range of physics described by quantum mechanics. Because of the interest of a chemist in such interatomic effects, it seems reasonable that a chemist would be interested in quantum mechanics because it is the physics governing these effects. The point of this thesis is to present some of those aspects of quantum mechanics that are directly applicable to molecular systems and that can aid the chemist’s understanding of molecular systems. The text of this paper will be primarily qualitative and therefore necessarily very general. The purpose in writing it is to point out some possibilities of applicability to chemical conceptions, not to rigorously prove all statements made. There may, however, be some readers who are purists enough to want to know where these statements come from and what the whole basis of quantum theory is itself, not just how it is applied to chemical systems. For the satisfaction of these purists, (the author included), the appendices following the text are much more mathematically developed. However, if one is willing to accept results of the appendices, on need not understand them in order to understand the text.