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Symmetry in molecules

  1. Jun 15, 2013 #1
    What is the general method for finding symmetry in molecules which would allow you to find which nuclei are equivalent in an NMR spectrum?

    I know it sounds vague but it seems inevitable. Any good guides on the Internet would be great. My main issue is with larger molecules whose structures are drawn in 2D, and virtually any 3D structure (e.g. adamantane).
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 15, 2013 #2
    Are you familiar with the idea of point group symmetry?
  4. Jun 15, 2013 #3
    No. And looking it up leads to a list of mathematical symbols that I cannot hope to understand on my own.
  5. Jun 17, 2013 #4


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    Personally I think the proper way to learn group theory, especially with hindsight of spectroscopic applications like NMR, is to start from the CNPI group. The classic book on that topic, with many exercises is Bunker and Jensen, Molecular Symmetry and Spectroscopy.
    See also
    http://www.ptc.uni-wuppertal.de/team/hochschullehrer/prof-per-jensen-phd.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  6. Jun 17, 2013 #5
    I fully agree with DrDu recommendation. That book is comprehensive and avilable from Dover Publication with a reasonable price.
    But for a quick and easy to follow overview on the undergraduate level, you can consult chapter 12 in D. A. McQuarrie "physical chemistry a molecular approach."
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