Symmetry Properties of Molecules

    In this exercise, symmetry operations can be examined for a particular molecule.

    Sometimes a reorientation of the molecule is needed for a better view of the operation (or due to the way that Chime performs rotations for example). In that cases the following sequence will be shown:

reorientation-delay- symmetry operation -delay-back to original orientation

An example: a C2 for BF3: (push the square button)

   A complex symmetry operation, like a improper axes of rotation, will be seen as a continuous movement, without any delays.

A BF3 like molecule: in this exercise, after viewing the symmetry operations, you could try to construct the multiplication table for the rotational sub-group of D3h by performing the products of the symmetry operations. Turn the labels on to follow the atoms. Use the RESET button, on the bottom frame, to re-start any operation from the starting configuration.

Do not try to follow atoms labeling them in operations that involve reflections around a symmetry element (planes of symmetry, improper axes of rotation or inversion), since these operations are "shown" by coloring atoms and not actually "performed" as in the case of rotations.

C2H6 staggered : in the rotations one of the hydrogens is colored at the beginning of the operation to highlite the process.

octahedron : a general ML6 molecule is shown. No attempt is made to cover all symmetry operations (The S2,4 are collinear with the C2,4 and the planes are straightforward). Examples of the C'2 and C3 are included.

Back to Main Menu