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The Fascination of Crystals and Symmetry

Universität Hamburg via iversity

This course may be unavailable.


In this course, we will provide you with a basic introduction into crystallography. The focus is placed upon the symmetry elements, which occur in crystals. The arrangement of the atoms inside the crystal needs a more detailed description than the overall shape of the crystal (morphology). We want to show you how symmetry is classified in a hierarchical way. We want our students to gain the ability to discover symmetry on their own.

What will I learn?

At the end of the course you will be aware of the similarities between the patterns on wallpaper and the structures of crystals, be able to classify the innumerable appearances of crystals into the seven different crystal systems, know how to find crystallographic data and how to analyze it regarding symmetry, you will understand the International Tables for Crystallography and will be familiar with software for analyzing and drawing crystals structures.

What do I have to know?

Basic knowledge in chemistry (atoms, simple molecules).


Chapter    Topic Chapter 1        Introduction to Crystals and Crystal Systems Chapter 2        Crystal Systems, Fractional Coordinates, and Morphology of Crystals Chapter 3        The World of Symmetry, Crystal classes and Plane groups Chapter 4        Glide planes, Screw axes and Space groups Chapter 5        Quasicrystals and Real Crystal Structures (in 3D) Chapter 6        Metal-Organic Frameworks and Networks Chapter 7        Practising Topology Determination, Tilings

Taught by

Frank Hoffmann, Michael Fröba and Michael Sartor


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