The Fascination of Crystals and Symmetry

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The Fascination of Crystals and Symmetry

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Course Provider

Iversity online courses
Iversity's vision is to share world-class knowledge. Based out of Berlin, iversity works directly with professors instead of through universities to provide its high-quality courses in multiple different languages. Contemporary Architecture taught by internationally known professor Dr. Ivan Shumkov and Dark Matter in Galaxies: The Last Mystery led by world-famous astrophysicist Paolo Salucci are only two examples of the kind of top-tier courses you can take at Iversity. Google, Shell Compa...
Iversity's vision is to share world-class knowledge. Based out of Berlin, iversity works directly with professors instead of through universities to provide its high-quality courses in multiple different languages. Contemporary Architecture taught by internationally known professor Dr. Ivan Shumkov and Dark Matter in Galaxies: The Last Mystery led by world-famous astrophysicist Paolo Salucci are only two examples of the kind of top-tier courses you can take at Iversity. Google, Shell Company and Deutsche Bank - three of the most innovative and successful companies in the world - declared iversity a Lighthouse Project in Higher Education, a prestigious and highly sought after international honor. PC Magazine named Iversity as one of the best websites of 2013. Iversity's broad range of courses led by the best professors in the world gives you access to previously unattainable knowledge.

Provider Subject Specialization
Humanities
Sciences & Technology
4 reviews

Course Description

Glistening rubies, sugar, stones or snowflakes - we encounter crystals in our daily lives. Even though they all look very different, there is one thing they have in common: their molecules are arranged in lattices. How do these structures form? What properties do they contribute to these materials? How can you classify them? This is shown in this course. The focus is placed upon the creation of a crystallographic basis, enabling you to decipher and understand the cryptic language and the abstract concepts of crystallography. With this basis, you will be prepared for the advanced lectures and readings in solid state chemistry and physics, material sciences, crystallography or mineralogy.­ Aesthetics and Fundamentals After the definition of the term “structure” and the notion of what makes a crystal and why anisotropic properties (specific materials properties are direction dependent) result from this, the correspondence principle (rel... Glistening rubies, sugar, stones or snowflakes - we encounter crystals in our daily lives. Even though they all look very different, there is one thing they have in common: their molecules are arranged in lattices. How do these structures form? What properties do they contribute to these materials? How can you classify them? This is shown in this course. The focus is placed upon the creation of a crystallographic basis, enabling you to decipher and understand the cryptic language and the abstract concepts of crystallography. With this basis, you will be prepared for the advanced lectures and readings in solid state chemistry and physics, material sciences, crystallography or mineralogy.­ Aesthetics and Fundamentals After the definition of the term “structure” and the notion of what makes a crystal and why anisotropic properties (specific materials properties are direction dependent) result from this, the correspondence principle (relationship between the inner structure and the outer shape of the crystal) is introduced and visualized in aesthetic images. We will treat the concept of the unit cell - the fundamental building block of every crystal - in detail. We want to use platforms like flickr or twitter to share everyday life examples with each other; thereby the concepts of translation lattices and motives are taught. In this context, there will be enough challenging exercises to train and apply what has been learned so far. Another unit will cover the hierarchical systematics in the classification of crystals (crystal systems, crystal classes, Bravais lattices) and its benefits. Occasional excursus will be used to link course content to current events and questions in research (i.e. the International Year of Crystallography or 2011’s Nobel Prize in chemistry for the discovery of quasicrystals). Explore Crystals in 3D Next, the symmetry of crystals is dealt with. All macroscopic and microscopic symmetry elements and symmetry operations (mirror planes, glide planes, centers of inversion, rotational axes and screw axes) are characterized and illustrated with many examples gathered through crowdsourcing. We hope that you will take many pictures, we can discuss together regarding symmetry elements. Finally, the connection to the systematics of crystals is shown and we will discuss the concept of what is called “space group”. The last part of the course will focus on practical experience. Using free computer programs for three-dimensional crystal visualization (Mercury, VESTA etc.), you are given the opportunity to discover countless crystal structures, which are freely available on the internet as CIF-files. Concepts like the asymmetric unit, fractional coordinates, general and special positions, multiplicity and Wyckoff positions can be discovered, developed and understood on the fly. Of course, the respective tutorials to use the software will be provided. Learning targets / Educational objectives Upon completion of this online course you can answer the following questions: What do the patterns on wallpapers and the structures of crystals have in common? There are innumerable appearances of crystals. How can all crystals in this world be classified into seven different crystal systems? Why is it sufficient to know the positions of only a few atoms to precisely describe a crystalline solid consisting of a myriad of atoms? How can you find crystallographic data and how can it be analyzed regarding symmetry? What relationship exists between the structure and the properties of a material? Why is diamond so hard and how can you explain phenomena such as ferroelectricity? Prior Knowledge Basic knowledge in chemistry (atoms, simple molecules).
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