Universität Wien FIND

270028 VO+UE Symmetry in Chemistry (2021W)

3.00 ECTS (3.00 SWS), SPL 27 - Chemie
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 50 participants
Language: English



First meeting:
Tuesday, 5.10.2021, 13:00-16:00
PC Pool of the Institute of Theoretical Chemistry, Währinger Straße 17, room 203/204.
Please note the 3G requirements.
The first meeting will be held on Zoom if too many students are registered for the course.

Time, date, and location (online or on-site) of subsequent meetings will be discussed in the first meeting.


Aims, contents and method of the course

Learn how to identify and understand the symmetry of molecules, and how symmetry can be used to deduce physical and chemical properties of molecules. Applications include molecular orbital theory, electronic structure, vibrational and UV/Vis spectroscopy, and reactivity.

1. Symmetry elements and symmetry operations
- Operations and elements
- Product of operations
2. Group theory
- Groups, subgroups and classes
- Multiplication tables
3. Symmetry point groups
- Classification, identify the point group of a molecule
4. Representations of groups
- Mathematical background: matrices
- Reducible and irreducible representations
- Non-degenerate and degenerate representations
- The Great Orthogonality theorem and its consequences
- Character tables, nomenclature
5. Applications in Chemistry
- Symmetry in the Schrödinger equation
- Symmetry in the Molecular Orbital theory
- Symmetry in spectroscopy
- Other applications: chemical reactions, ligand field theory, etc

In-presence/virtual lectures and class exercises.
The classes will be organized primarily through Moodle.

Assessment and permitted materials

The final grade will be composed of one written exam (40%), three exercise protocols (15% each), and class participation (15%).

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

100-87.5 Grade 1 "Sehr gut" ("excellent")
87.0-75.0 Grade 2 "Gut" ("good")
74.5-62.5 Grade 3 "Befriedigend" ("satisfactory")
62.0-50.0 Grade 4 "Genügend" ("sufficient")
49.5-0.0 Grade 5 "Nicht genügend" ("failed")

Examination topics

Reading list

Association in the course directory


Last modified: We 15.09.2021 09:09