Molecular symmetry in chemistry describes the symmetry present in molecules and the classification of molecules according to their symmetry. Molecular symmetry is a fundamental concept in chemistry, as it can predict or explain many of a molecule's chemical properties, such as its dipole moment and its allowed spectroscopic transitions (based on selection rules such as the Laporte rule). Many university level textbooks on physical chemistry, quantum chemistry, and inorganic chemistry devote a chapter to symmetry.
While various frameworks for the study of molecular symmetry exist, group theory is the predominant one. This framework is also useful in studying the symmetry of molecular orbitals, with applications such as the Hückel method, ligand field theory, and the Woodward-Hoffmann rules. Another framework on a larger scale is the use of crystal systems to describe crystallographic symmetry in bulk materials.
Many techniques for the practical assessment of molecular symmetry exist, including X-ray crystallography and various forms of spectroscopy, for example infrared spectroscopy of metal carbonyls. Spectroscopic notation is based on symmetry considerations.
Other articles related to "molecular symmetry":
... Hans Bethe used characters of point group operations in his study of ligand field theory in 1929, and Eugene Wigner used group theory to explain the selection rules of atomic spectroscopy ... The first character tables were compiled by László Tisza (1933), in connection to vibrational spectra ...
Famous quotes containing the word symmetry:
“What makes a regiment of soldiers a more noble object of view than the same mass of mob? Their arms, their dresses, their banners, and the art and artificial symmetry of their position and movements.”
—George Gordon Noel Byron (17881824)