Offered to students admitted to Year 1 in ALL
Major/Minor ALL
Course Type
Offer in 2021 - 2022 Y N
Course Code CHEM4142
Date2022/05/17 14:49
Enquiry for Course Details
CHEM4142 Symmetry, group theory and applications (6 credits) Academic Year 2021
Offering Department Chemistry Quota 60
Course Co-ordinator Dr E C M Tse, Chemistry < ecmtse@hku.hk >
Teachers Involved (Dr E C M Tse,Chemistry)
(Dr K K H Ng,Chemistry)
Course Objectives To introduce the concepts of symmetry and group theory and to apply them in solving chemical problems.  This course also provides an introductory treatment of bonding theories, inorganic electronic and vibrational spectroscopy.  This course is essential for students who wish to take advanced courses in inorganic chemistry and all types of spectroscopy.
Course Contents & Topics Symmetry elements and symmetry operations; symmetry point groups; reducible and irreducible representations; character tables; direct products; symmetry-adapted linear combinations; projection operators; hybrid orbitals; molecular orbital theory for organic, inorganic and organometallic systems; selected applications in electronic and vibrational spectroscopy.
Course Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

CLO 1 understand the basic principles and concepts of symmetry and group theory and to apply them in solving chemical problems
CLO 2 demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the use of character tables and projection operator techniques
CLO 3 demonstrate knowledge and understanding of bonding theories involving hybrid orbitals and molecular orbitals for organic, inorganic and organometallic systems
CLO 4 demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the application of symmetry and group theory in electronic and vibrational spectroscopy
Pre-requisites
(and Co-requisites and
Impermissible combinations)
Pass in CHEM3341
Course Status with Related Major/Minor /Professional Core 2021 Major in Chemistry ( Disciplinary Elective )
2021 Major in Chemistry (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2021 Minor in Chemistry ( Disciplinary Elective )
2020 Major in Chemistry ( Disciplinary Elective )
2020 Major in Chemistry (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2020 Minor in Chemistry ( Disciplinary Elective )
2019 Major in Chemistry ( Disciplinary Elective )
2019 Major in Chemistry (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2019 Minor in Chemistry ( Disciplinary Elective )
2018 Major in Chemistry ( Disciplinary Elective )
2018 Major in Chemistry (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2018 Minor in Chemistry ( Disciplinary Elective )
2017 Major in Chemistry ( Disciplinary Elective )
2017 Major in Chemistry (Intensive) ( Core/Compulsory )
2017 Minor in Chemistry ( Disciplinary Elective )
Course to PLO Mapping 2021 Major in Chemistry < PLO 2,3,4 >
2021 Major in Chemistry (Intensive) < PLO 2,3,4 >
2020 Major in Chemistry < PLO 2,3,4 >
2020 Major in Chemistry (Intensive) < PLO 2,3,4 >
2019 Major in Chemistry < PLO 2,3,4 >
2019 Major in Chemistry (Intensive) < PLO 2,3,4 >
2018 Major in Chemistry < PLO 2,3,4 >
2018 Major in Chemistry (Intensive) < PLO 2,3,4 >
2017 Major in Chemistry < PLO 2,3,4 >
2017 Major in Chemistry (Intensive) < PLO 2,3,4 >
Offer in 2021 - 2022 Y        1st sem    Examination Dec     
Offer in 2022 - 2023 Y
Course Grade A+ to F
Grade Descriptors
A Demonstrate thorough knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts, principles, and theories relating to symmetry and group theory and their applications in solving chemical problems, especially those related to symmetry elements and symmetry operations; symmetry point groups; reducible and irreducible representations; character tables; direct products; symmetry-adapted linear combinations; projection operators; treatment of bonding theories including hybrid orbitals and molecular orbitals for organic, inorganic and orgametallic systems; and applications in electronic and vibrational spectroscopy. Show strong ability to apply and integrate knowledge and theory relating to the basic principles and concepts of symmetry and group theory and their applications in bonding, and electronic and vibrational spectroscopy. Show strong ability to analyze novel problems and critical use of data and experimental results to draw appropriate and insightful conclusions relating to the principles and applications of symmetry and group theory.
B Demonstrate substantial command of knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts, principles, and theories relating to symmetry and group theory and their applications in solving chemical problems, especially those related to symmetry elements and symmetry operations; symmetry point groups; reducible and irreducible representations; character tables; direct products; symmetry-adapted linear combinations; projection operators; treatment of bonding theories including hybrid orbitals and molecular orbitals for organic, inorganic and orgametallic systems; and applications in electronic and vibrational spectroscopy. Show evidence to apply and integrate knowledge and theory relating to the basic principles and concepts of symmetry and group theory and their applications in bonding, and electronic and vibrational spectroscopy. Show evidence to analyze novel problems and correct use of data and experimental results to draw appropriate conclusions relating to the principles and applications of symmetry and group theory.
C Demonstrate general but incomplete command of knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts, principles, and theories relating to symmetry and group theory and their applications in solving chemical problems, especially those related to symmetry elements and symmetry operations; symmetry point groups; reducible and irreducible representations; character tables; direct products; symmetry-adapted linear combinations; projection operators; treatment of bonding theories including hybrid orbitals and molecular orbitals for organic, inorganic and orgametallic systems; and applications in electronic and vibrational spectroscopy. Show evidence of some abilities to apply and integrate knowledge and theory relating to the basic principles and concepts of symmetry and group theory and their applications in bonding, and electronic and vibrational spectroscopy. Show ability to analyze problems to most familiar situations and mostly correct but erroneous use of data and experimental results to draw appropriate conclusions relating to the principles and applications of symmetry and group theory.
D Demonstrate partial but limited command of knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts, principles, and theories relating to symmetry and group theory and their applications in solving chemical problems, especially those related to symmetry elements and symmetry operations; symmetry point groups; reducible and irreducible representations; character tables; direct products; symmetry-adapted linear combinations; projection operators; treatment of bonding theories including hybrid orbitals and molecular orbitals for organic, inorganic and orgametallic systems; and applications in electronic and vibrational spectroscopy. Show evidence of limited abilities to apply and integrate knowledge and theory relating to the basic principles and concepts of symmetry and group theory and their applications in bonding, and electronic and vibrational spectroscopy. Show limited ability to analyze problems to most familiar situations and mostly correct but erroneous use of data and experimental results to draw appropriate conclusions relating to the principles and applications of symmetry and group theory.
Fail Demonstrate little or no evidence of command of knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts, principles, and theories relating to symmetry and group theory and their applications in solving chemical problems, especially those related to symmetry elements and symmetry operations; symmetry point groups; reducible and irreducible representations; character tables; direct products; symmetry-adapted linear combinations; projection operators; treatment of bonding theories including hybrid orbitals and molecular orbitals for organic, inorganic and orgametallic systems; and applications in electronic and vibrational spectroscopy. Show little or no evidence of abilities to apply and integrate knowledge and theory relating to the basic principles and concepts of symmetry and group theory and their applications in bonding, and electronic and vibrational spectroscopy. Show little or no ability to analyze problems to most familiar situations and erroneous use of data and experimental results to draw appropriate conclusions relating to the principles and applications of symmetry and group theory.
Course Type Lecture-based course
Course Teaching
& Learning Activities
Activities Details No. of Hours
Lectures 36
Tutorials or discussion 12
Reading / Self study 100
Assessment Methods
and Weighting
Methods Details Weighting in final
course grade (%)
Assessment Methods
to CLO Mapping
Assignments 25 CLO 1,2,3,4
Examination 50 CLO 1,2,3,4
Test Test / Project 25 CLO 1,2,3,4
Required/recommended reading
and online materials
F.A. Cotton: Chemical Applications of Group Theory (Wiley, 3rd ed., 1990)
Course Website NIL
Additional Course Information This course is also offered to RPg students, and the course code for RPg students is CHEM6116.
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