Symmetry Resources at Otterbein University

Welcome to the world of symmetry! The resources contained within this web site are designed to help students learn concepts of molecular symmetry and to help faculty teach concepts of molecular symmetry. The materials are designed for a variety of levels, so look around and see what we have to offer. Choose from the following pages:

D3h example
  • Symmetry Tutorial - An interactive point group symmetry tutorial. Guides students through all of the symmetry elements and operations, with interactive displays and animations.
  • The Symmetry Gallery - A collection of nearly 70 unique molecules with interactive display of all symmetry elements and animation of all operations. The molecules are organized by point group, so you can select examples to demonstrate particular symmetry elements. Includes links to the chemical literature when available.
  • The Symmetry Challenge - Using the same set of molecules from the Gallery, the Challenge includes a flow chart that details the process of determining the point group of each molecule. A great way to practice the point group determination process.

Updates: March 2014 - A new mobile optimized version of the Symmetry Gallery can be found at symmetry.otterbein.edu/mobile. Compatible with iOS and Android - please test and send feedback!

January 2014 - Updated Jmol and underlying code to allow full operation without Java. All pages now default to HTML5 (JSmol) operation. If you prefer using Java, click the Java link on the bottom of the left panel. Testing is ongoing.

August 2011 - New pages on crystallography and crystallographic symmetry now at crystals.otterbein.edu.

August 2009 - Try out the new CSDSym search function. You can search the CSD for molecules with particular point groups or space groups.

April 2009 - Some errors in various structures have been corrected (thanks Andy!). The “flickering” during animations in Safari has been fixed.

System Requirements: All pages require a modern browser with Javascript enabled (Java no longer requred = see note below under updates). These pages have been tested with Chrome (OS X, Windows, iOS, Android), Safari (OS X, iOS), Firefox (OS X, Windows, Linux, Android), and Internet Explorer (Windows, IE v9 required for HTML5 mode).