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Visualization Of Molecular Symmetry – Online Tools And Learning Processes. Inbal Tuvi-Arad Department of Natural Sciences, and The Chais Research Center for the Integration of Technology in Education, The Open University of Israel. Learning with Visualizations. Symmetry Is All Around Us.

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visualization of molecular symmetry online tools and learning processes

Visualization Of Molecular Symmetry – Online Tools And Learning Processes

Inbal Tuvi-AradDepartment of Natural Sciences, and The Chais Research Center for the Integration of Technology in Education, The Open University of Israel

Learning with Visualizations

symmetry is all around us
Symmetry Is All Around Us
  • In life
  • In Art
  • In Chemistry
introducing symmetry
Introducing Symmetry
  • Are these objects symmetric?
  • How do we know that?
a short definition
A Short Definition
  • Symmetry is defined in terms of elements and operations.
  • Element – an axis, a plane, a point.
  • Operation – rotation, reflection, inversion.
  • An operation is symmetric if the resulting object is identical to the original one.
how do we know
How Do We Know?
  • We rotate or reflect the object in our mind.

Rotation

Reflection

molecular symmetry
Molecular Symmetry
  • Are these molecules symmetric?
  • How can we help students visualize the symmetry?
visualization of hidden parts
Visualization Of Hidden Parts
  • Present molecules in 3D
  • Allow students to rotate structures on screen
  • Present symmetry elements on screen
  • Allow students to draw their own elements
molecules are 3d objects
Molecules Are 3D Objects

water

vitamin C

methane

molecules rotate in space
Molecules Rotate In Space

water

methane

vitamin C

molecular symmetry online
Molecular Symmetry Online

Molecular Symmetry Online

symmetry toolkit
Symmetry Toolkit

http://telem.openu.ac.il/symmetry

students quotes
Students’ Quotes
  • “Before I couldn’t see anything. Now I do.”
  • “I no longer need to imagine the structure in my mind.”
  • “I can see the symmetry element in my mind, but I’d rather use the toolkit to draw it and check if I’m right.”
molecules are dynamic
Molecules Are Dynamic
  • How much symmetry is lost due to vibration?
  • How can we visualize it?
continuous symmetry
Perfect symmetry is rare:

Molecules are dynamic entities

Both physical conditions and chemical

environments creates structural distortions

Minor substitutions creates major changes in the symmetry of a molecule

Continuous Symmetry
continuous symmetry15
The Continuous Symmetry Measure determines the distance of a given structure from perfect symmetry.

It can be used to compare between various distorted structures.

Symmetry becomes a continuous property of matter.

Continuous Symmetry
visualization of hidden parts16
Visualization Of Hidden Parts
  • Present molecules in 3D
  • Allow students to rotate the structure
  • Calculate symmetry measures in the background
  • Present original and resulting molecules interactively
cosym website
CoSyM Website

http://telem.openu.ac.il/symmetry/csm

typical problem
Typical Problem
  • Is there an axis around which we can rotate the molecule by 180 and obtain an identical structure?
  • If not, how would a structure with such an axis look like?

Ammonia

Hypothetical structure with 180º rotation axis

teachers quotes
Teachers’ Quotes
  • "When I teach about molecular structure I describe only rigid structures, I never imagined how molecules move."
  • "I felt a big difference… the visualization opened my eyes."
  • "Now I am going to look at molecules in a different way. There is no sharp distinction between symmetry and no symmetry - there are a lot of levels in the middle."
summary
Summary
  • Online Symmetry tools help students visualize the hidden process of solving problems.
  • Visualization of molecular symmetry, and continuous symmetry contribute to deeper understanding of molecular structure.
  • Website tools can be used at various content levels and for various teaching and learning purposes.
  • Exposing teachers to advanced scientific content can improve the way they teach more basic topics.
with appreciation to
With Appreciation To:
  • Colleagues:
    • Dr. Paul Gorsky – The Open University of Israel
    • Dr. Ron Blonder – The Weizmann Institute of Science
  • Molecular Symmetry Online Team:
    • Dov Garmise, Vered Tooby-Fishberg, Zeev Perl
  • CoSyM website Team:
    • Open University team: Dr. Dina Yogev-Einot, Dov Garmise, Uri Shefi, Roy Sharoni, Itai Har-Even, Nadav Peer, Zeev Perl
    • Hebrew University team: Prof. David Avnir, Dr. Mark Pinsky, Dr. Alexander Sterkin, Shadi Laham, Chaim Dryzon