Materiomics Chronicles: week 9 & 10

With the end of the first quarter in week eight, the nine and tenth week of the academic year were centered around the first batch of exams for the first master students of our materiomics program at UHasselt. For the other students in the second master and bachelor, academic life continued with classes.

Coefficients of the 63-1G basis set for the H and He atom.

Coefficients of the 63-1G basis set for the H and He atom.

The course introduction to quantum chemistry starts to hone in on the first actual fully realistic system: the H atom. But before we get there, the students of the second bachelor chemistry extended their particle on a ring model system to an infinite number of ring systems: i.e. discs, spheres, and balls. Separation of variables has no longer any secrets for them. Now they are ready for reality after many weeks of abstract toy models. The third bachelor students on the other hand had their first ever contact with real practical quantum chemistry (i.e. computational chemistry) during the course quantum and computational chemistry. They learned about Hartree-Fock, the self-consistent field method, basis sets and slater orbitals. They entered this new world with a practical exercise class where, using jupyter notebooks and the psi4 package, they performed their first even quantum chemical calculations. Starting with the trivial H and He atom systems as a start, since for these we have calculated exact solutions during the classes of this course. This way, we learned about the quality of different basis sets and the time of calculations.

In the master materiomics, the first master students had their exams on Fundamentals of materials modeling, and Properties of functional materials, where all showed they understood the topics presented to sufficient degree making them ready for the second quarter. For the second master students, the course on Density Functional Theory held a lecture on the limitations of DFT and a guest lecture on conceptual DFT.

With week 10 drawing to a close, we added another 15h of classes, ~1h of video lecture and 2h of guest lectures, putting our semester total at 106h of live lectures. Upwards and onward to weeks 11 & 12.

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