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Symmetry App©

An Interactive Program for Learning Symmetry Elements and Operations

Written by David E. Meyer and Andrew L. Sargent
Department of Chemistry, East Carolina University
Greenville, North Carolina 27858 USA

SymmetryApp© is a JAVA program designed to help students learn about symmetry elements and their operations, both of which are critical to a solid understanding of molecular symmetry and group theory. The program is not a tutorial. User input is required to define the symmetry elements and means are available to allow these elements to be positioned anywhere in a molecule. Once the user has defined a symmetry element, the program executes the symmetry operation and generates a graphics image that allows the user to see firsthand the consequence of their choice.

A brief review of this work has been published (J. Chem. Educ. 2007, 84, 1551-1552). Click here for a more thorough description of the program design.

Downloading information.

Click here to download the JAVA jar file. SymmetryApp requires the JAVA runtime environment to be installed on your computer. Most modern PCs have this pre-installed, but in case it isn’t, it can be obtained from

Click here to download a library containing Cartesian coordinates for 35 molecules with a wide range of symmetry characteristics. For easiest access on a PC, download the zip file to your C drive, unzip it, and place it in a folder named SymmetryApp.

Set your screen resolution to 1024x768 or better.

Click here for a Users Guide.