Unique atoms and the identification of the symmetry elements of molecules

John P. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Explicitly stating that every symmetry element of a molecule must contain all unique atoms enables students to more easily eliminate from consideration absent symmetry elements and identify those elements present more readily. Additionally, in-class assessment of the consequences of this rule leads to interesting student discussions and conclusions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1010-1011
Number of pages2
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2011


  • Inorganic chemistry
  • Inquiry-based/discovery learning
  • Molecular properties/structure
  • Problem solving/decision making
  • Second-year undergraduate
  • Upper-division undergraduate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Education


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