An inquiry-based learning approach to the introduction of the improper rotation-reflection operation, Sn

John P. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Symmetry properties of molecules are generally introduced in second-year or third-year-level inorganic or physical chemistry courses. Students generally adapt readily to understanding and applying the operations of rotation (Cn), reflection (σ), and inversion (i). However, the two-step operation of improper rotation-reflection (Sn) often provides a greater challenge for students. Sn operations can be difficult to identify and visualize, and the reason their inclusion in the different types of symmetry operations is not always clear or explained. In this contribution, an inquiry-based learning exercise is used to introduce students to the Sn operation: The results of all symmetry operations are first listed by simple permutations of atoms, and then students search for operations to bring about these permutations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2213-2215
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Volume91
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 9 2014

Keywords

  • Group theory/symmetry
  • Inorganic chemistry
  • Inquiry-Based/Discovery learning
  • Molecular properties/structure
  • Problem solving/decision making
  • Second-Year undergraduate
  • Upper-Division undergraduate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Education

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'An inquiry-based learning approach to the introduction of the improper rotation-reflection operation, Sn'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this