Find Out the Symmetry of Polonium Unit Cell

In summary, the conversation is about drawing the solid state structure of polonium in inorganic chemistry. The question asks for the symmetry of the unit cell, which the person is unsure how to answer. They understand what a unit cell is, but are unsure of the meaning of the question. The response suggests that the question may not make sense, as any unit cell can be chosen as long as it contains one atom and spans the whole crystal. However, there are unit cells with higher symmetry, such as a cubic cell. The person is then asked to determine the point group of the cell if it were a molecule.
  • #1
For inorganic chemistry, I am being asked to draw the solid state structure of polonium which i know how to do. However it asks what the symmetry of the unit cell is, and I don't know how to answer. I know what a unit cell is, I'm just not sure what the question means, or what it is looking for. Could anyone help?
Thanks
 
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  • #2
This question doesn't make much sense, given that you can choose the unit cell almost arbitrarily as long as by repetitive translation, it will span the whole crystal and contain one atom. There are unit cells with a higher symmetry, specifically a cubic cell. If this cell were a molecule, you could determine it's point group. What do you find?
 

1. What is the unit cell of polonium?

The unit cell of polonium is a face-centered cubic (FCC) lattice, meaning that each atom is surrounded by 12 nearest neighbors, with 6 in the same plane and 3 above and below.

2. How can I find the symmetry of the polonium unit cell?

The symmetry of the polonium unit cell can be determined by analyzing the arrangement of atoms within the unit cell and identifying any planes of symmetry, rotational axes, and mirror planes.

3. What is the significance of determining the symmetry of the polonium unit cell?

Knowing the symmetry of the polonium unit cell is important for understanding the physical and chemical properties of the element, as well as for predicting and designing its crystal structure and behavior.

4. Are there any other methods for finding the symmetry of the polonium unit cell?

Yes, there are several methods for determining the symmetry of a unit cell, including X-ray diffraction, electron diffraction, and neutron diffraction.

5. How does the symmetry of the polonium unit cell relate to its atomic structure?

The symmetry of the polonium unit cell is directly related to the arrangement of atoms within the crystal lattice. The different types of symmetry elements present in the unit cell reflect the underlying symmetry of the atoms within the crystal structure.

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