Group Theory for Chemists

Fundamental Theory and Applications


  • Kieran Molloy, University of Bath, UK

The basics of group theory and its applications to themes such as the analysis of vibrational spectra and molecular orbital theory are essential knowledge for the undergraduate student of inorganic chemistry. The second edition of Group Theory for Chemists uses diagrams and problem-solving to help students test and improve their understanding, including a new section on the application of group theory to electronic spectroscopy.

Part one covers the essentials of symmetry and group theory, including symmetry, point groups and representations. Part two deals with the application of group theory to vibrational spectroscopy, with chapters covering topics such as reducible representations and techniques of vibrational spectroscopy. In part three, group theory as applied to structure and bonding is considered, with chapters on the fundamentals of molecular orbital theory, octahedral complexes and ferrocene among other topics. Additionally in the second edition, part four focuses on the application of group theory to electronic spectroscopy, covering symmetry and selection rules, terms and configurations and d-d spectra.

Drawing on the author’s extensive experience teaching group theory to undergraduates, Group Theory for Chemists provides a focused and comprehensive study of group theory and its applications which is invaluable to the student of chemistry as well as those in related fields seeking an introduction to the topic.
View full description


Professionals and academics.


Book information

  • Published: December 2010
  • Imprint: Woodhead Publishing
  • ISBN: 978-0-85709-240-3


...this book provides a structured approach with regular problem-solving to assess understanding along the way. Developed from a highly successful lecture course, the text contains some interesting examples and tricks to help students cut through the mathematical barriers to understanding... This approach provides an effective self-learning tool for students., Education in Chemistry
The author does a wonderful job of introducing group theory to those who have had no exposure to this topic., Choice

Table of Contents

Part 1 Symmetry and groups: Symmetry; Groups and representations. Part 2 Application of group theory to vibrational spectroscopy: Reducible representations; Techniques of vibrational spectroscopy; The vibrational spectrum of Xe(O)F4. Part 3 Application of group theory to structure and bonding: Fundamentals of molecular orbital theory; H2O - Linear or angular? NH3 - Planar or pyramidal? Octahedral complexes; Ferrocene. Part 4 Application of group theory to electronic spectroscopy: Symmetry and selection rules; Terms and configurations; d-d Spectra.