This is the first of the eight courses I intend to offer in Group Theory and Chemistry.
This course deals with Symmetry Elements and Symmetry Operations, the concepts which are fundamental to the application of Group Theory to problems in the field of Chemistry.
The difference between symmetry elements and symmetry operations is explained clearly using illustrations.
The five basic symmetry operations in nature, namely, Identity, Proper rotation about an axis, Reflection in a mirror plane, Inversion about a point and Improper rotation about an axis and the symmetry elements associated with them are explained one by one using numerous examples.
The alignment of molecules in the Cartesian coordinate system and the rules for assigning the three mutually perpendicular axes are explained using suitable examples.
Before the mirror planes are classified as Vertical, Horizontal and Dihedral planes, how to visualize and represent the three mutually perpendicular molecular planes xy, yz and zx is discussed in detail with illustrations.
The number of operations that can be generated from the five symmetry elements, namely, Identity, Proper rotation axis, Mirror plane, Inversion center and Improper rotation axis are explained in great detail because the symmetry operations are the basis of the application of the mathematical concept of group theory to molecular problems,
All the concepts have been explained using molecular models as well as diagrams, for easy understanding.