We know that many molecules display symmetry. Methane is tetrahedral, benzene is planar, atoms are spherically symmetric. The symmetry consists in the fact that there are a number of different positions in which the molecule can be placed, which look the same or are physically equivalent. For example, if we twirl the methane molecule by 120° about a C-H bond, it looks the same. It is often possible to derive, from the symmetry of the molecule, information about its quantum-mechanical properties, and this is the subject of this chapter.


Methane Benzene Naphthalene Acetylene Pyramid 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Goodisman
    • 1
  1. 1.Syracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA

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