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Quantum Reaction Dynamics (QRD)


Admission requirements

Elective course in MSc Chemistry, MSc Life Science and Technology.
For students with a BSc in MST, LST or equivalent who have completed at least one course theoretical chemistry.


We discuss how cross sections and probabilities for reaction can be calculated quantum mechanically for chemical reactions, based on three examples (two-dimensional model of the gas phase reaction A + BC → AB + C, photodissociation of a tri-atomic molecule, and the dissociation of a diatomic molecule on a surface). Subjects include: the scattering boundary conditions, the time-dependent and the time-independent Schrödinger equation, the stationary and the time-dependent wave function, the wave packet method, the choice of the initial wave packet, the propagation of the time-dependent wave function, the representation of the wave function and the action of the Hamiltonian operator on the wave function, and the asymptotic analysis. We also discuss several applications of the theory.

Course objectives

After the course, students:

  • have a basic knowledge of the time-dependent wave packet (TDWP) method for molecule-surface reaction dynamics

  • are able to read and analyse specialist literature within the field of molecule-surface reaction dynamics, photodissociation dynamics, and gas phase reaction dynamics

  • are able to interrelate theoretical and experimental work done on similar systems

  • can present orally a resume of a scientific article from the field with aid of presentation software (e.g. MS PowerPoint) highlighting crucial aspects and including relevant details

  • can articulate critical questions and accurate answers about the contents of such scientific articles

  • can explain various types of motivations used to justify research performed in this field


Schedule information can be found on the website of the programmes.

You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction

Discussion meetings

Assessment method

Oral exam (70%) and presentation by students (30%).

The oral exam may be changed to a written exam if a large number of students enroll in the course. Students must give their presentation, and must obtain at least a 5.0 for this presentation, to be allowed to sit the exam. The students also must attend at least 80% of the discussion meetings.

Reading list

Reader (lecture notes) on the time-dependent wave packet method, and scientific articles.


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.

Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.


Prof. dr. G.J. Kroes


Assignment deadlines are communicated via Brightspace.

This biennial course will not be given in 2023-24. Shown above is the course description for 2022-23 as reference. The course is scheduled again for academic year 2024-25.