 
Femtochemistry©  
Mark David Ellison Wittenberg University P. O. Box 720 Springfield, OH 45501 United States mail to: mellison@wittenberg.edu  
Abstract  
The goal of this document is to have the students explore a simple solution to the timedependent Schrödinger equation. This is done in the context of understanding the work, commonly called femtochemistry, of recent Nobel Prize winner Ahmed Zewail. The students review the harmonic oscillator model for molecular vibration, which is a solution to the timeindependent Schrödinger equation. The students then study the process of exciting molecules with an ultrafast laser pulse. The molecules thus excited are in a superposition that has timedependent behavior. MathCad is an excellent tool to help students visualize and understand the fundamentals of femtochemistry. The Excitation.PDF file contains a diagram of the excitation process and a discussion question to focus student learning at the start of the activity using the Mathcad template.  
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©Copyright 2004 Journal of Chemical Education  