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Molecular Photophysics and Spectroscopy (Second Edition)

David L Andrews, Robert H Lipson


This new, expanded edition provides a fresh, photon-based description of modern molecular spectroscopy and photophysics, with applications that are drawn from across the breadth of chemistry, biology, physics, and materials science, including recent developments. The focus is on the mechanisms that operate at the fundamental level, on how light absorption and scattering occur in molecules, what happens to the energy which the molecules acquire, and what may be learned from the study of these processes. Mathematics is again kept to a minimum though quantitative understanding is nevertheless put into practice via example calculations throughout the text. With the aid of extensive, purposely devised illustrations, this approach fosters a deeper intuition for the photophysical processes involved in light‒matter interaction, aiming to consolidate the principles and to exemplify how widely ranging information can be derived from spectroscopic studies.

About Editors

David Andrews is known for advances in the theory of quantum and nonlinear optics, fundamental photonics, energy transport, and optical vortices. He has published 400 papers and over twenty books, including as author or co-author Lasers in Chemistry, Optical Harmonics in Molecular Systems, Optical Nanomanipulation, and an Introduction to Photon Science and Technology. David has taught extensively at the University of East Anglia and run numerous spectroscopy courses for industry: he has twice been Chair of the Royal Society of Chemistry Molecular Spectroscopy Group. Andrews is a Chartered Chemist and Chartered Physicist, and he is the 2021 President of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.


Rob Lipson has published extensively in the areas of laser spectroscopy, nanoscience, and novel material for photonics applications. He has taught a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate level physical chemistry courses at Western University and the University of Victoria (UVic). Administratively, he has served as Chair of the Department of Chemistry at Western and two terms as Dean of Science at UVic. In addition to his academic work, he was also a long-serving Senior Editor of the Canadian Journal of Chemistry, and a panel member on numerous funding and research integrity committees for the federal Government of Canada. Lipson is a Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition

Preface to the First Edition

List of Symbols

1 Introduction to molecular spectroscopy and photophysics

2 Atoms and molecules: developing principles of electronic structure

3 Polyatomic molecules: orbitals, symmetry and group theory

4 Electronic and nuclear energy levels in molecules

5 Small molecule rotational energy levels and spectra

6 Diatomic and triatomic molecules: vibrations and spectra

7 Vibrational states in large molecules: infrared absorption spectroscopy

8 Raman scattering and spectral interpretation

9 Electronic and vibrational states in large molecules

10 Electronic transitions, colours, and detection

11 After light is absorbed: photophysics in an excited electronic state

12 Molecular fluorescence

13 Fluorescence resonance energy transfer

14 Chiral phenomena and optical activity

15 Multiphoton processes in molecules



Hardback ISBN: 9780750336819

Ebook ISBN: 9780750336833

DOI: 10.1088/978-0-7503-3683-3

Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing


This excellent book is pitched just at the right level for an undergraduate or introductory graduate course. For instance, it discusses fundamental spectroscopy, that many students will have seen before in standard courses, then connects those concepts to more advanced and applied topics. Gregory D. Scholes, FRS, FRSCan, Princeton University, New Jersey, USA

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