Albion College

Mathematics and Computer Science

Mathematics and Computer Science

COLLOQUIUM

Group Theory of Molecules

Stephanie Sanders, '15

Group theory is the study of algebraic structures called groups. By employing the
concepts of group theory, chemists can study the symmetry of molecules. The
possible symmetry elements and their matrix representations will be examined.
Every molecule has a set of symmetry elements that make up a group. The
symmetry groups of molecules and the relationship between chemistry and math
terminology will be explored. Group theory and the symmetry of molecules have
many practical applications in chemistry, such as understanding vibrational
spectroscopy and crystallography.