Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Gerade and ungerade

The symmetry notation u and g are sometimes used when describing molecular orbitals. This refers to the operation of inversion, which requires starting at an arbitrary point in the molecule, travelling straight through the center, and then continuing outwards an equal distance from the center. The orbital is designated g (for gerade, even) if the phase is the same, and u (for ungerade, uneven) if the phase changes sign.

Symmetry symbols can be used as a way to distinguish different orbitals in MO diagrams:

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