Winner of a 2005 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Book Award
Molecular symmetry is an easily applied tool for understanding and predicting many of the properties of molecules. Traditionally, students are taught this subject using point groups derived from the equilibrium geometry of the molecule.
Fundamentals of Molecular Symmetry shows how to set up symmetry groups for molecules using the more general idea of energy invariance. It is no more difficult than using molecular geometry and one obtains molecular symmetry groups.
The book provides an introductory description of molecular spectroscopy and quantum mechanics as the foundation for understanding how molecular symmetry is defined and used. The approach taken gives a balanced account of both point group symmetry and molecular group symmetry. Usually the point group is only useful for isolated, nonrotating molecules, executing small amplitude vibrations, with no tunneling, in isolated electronic states. However, for the chemical physicist or physical chemist who wishes to go beyond these limitations, the molecular symmetry group is almost always required.