Space Group Symmetry
University of Colorado at Boulder
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This assignment tasks students with determining symmetry axes and identifying Hermann-Mauguin symbols for space groups based on a symmetry diagram.
This problem set is designed for an undergraduate course in mineralogy for majors.
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
Students should have a basic understanding of crystal symmetry and Hermann-Mauguin nomenclature.
How the activity is situated in the course
This is a stand-alone exercise used as a homework assignment.
Content/concepts goals for this activity
This activity aids in student understanding and interpretation of crystal symmetry diagrams.
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
Description of the activity/assignment
In this problem set, students are given space group symmetry diagrams for primitive (P) orthorhombic space groups. For each diagram they must write down the symmetry axis (either 2 or 21) that is parallel to each major axis, and give the symmetry plane (a, b, c, n, or m) that is normal (perpendicular)to each. They must also give the simplified Hermann-Mauguin symbol for the space group.
Determining whether students have met the goals
Students have successfully met the goals of the assignment if they answer the problem set thoroughly and accurately.
More information about assessment tools and techniques.
Download teaching materials and tips
This problem set is the 3rd
of 10 homework assignments used in a Mineralogy course.
You can also access the course syllabus
which includes lecture Powerpoints, practice exams, and links to the other problem sets used in this course.