What is the course about?
In this course, we will provide you with a basic introduction into crystallography. The focus is placed upon the symmetry elements, which occur in crystals. The arrangement of the atoms inside the crystal needs a more detailed description than the overall shape of the crystal (morphology). We want to show you how symmetry is classified in a hierarchical way. We want our students to gain the ability to discover symmetry on their own.
What will I learn?
At the end of the course you will ...
be aware of the similarities between the patterns on wallpaper and the structures of crystals.
be able to classify the innumerable appearances of crystals into the seven different crystal systems.
know how to find crystallographic data and how to analyze it regarding symmetry.
understand the description of infinite framework structures (i.e. MOFs) via a topology approach.
understand the relationship between the structure and the properties of a material. Ex.: Why is diamond so hard and the explanation of phenomena such as ferroelectricity?
What do I have to know?
Basic knowledge in chemistry (atoms, simple molecules).
- approx. 3 hours per week
Do I get a certificate?
Students participating in this course can earn the official Statement of Participation.
Requirements for receiving the Statement of Participation are to watch 80% of the lecture videos as well as complete 80% of the quizzes.
Dr. Frank Hoffmann
Chemist, X-ray Crystallographer, Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, University of Hamburg
After studying Chemistry at the University of Hamburg, Germany, he received a Ph.D. degree in 2002 and held a postdoctoral position at the University of Gießen until 2007. After returning to Hamburg he became the head of the X-ray crystallography division at the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry.
He has worked for a long time on Langmuir monolayers – in particular studying chiral interactions – and Periodic Mesoporous Organosilicas (PMOs). His current research interests include crystal design, Metal-organic Frameworks (MOFs), network topology, gas storage, gas separation, molecular modeling in material science, chirality, fragrances and olfaction, and energy storage and conversion.
Chemist, Department of Chemistry, University of Hamburg (Alumnus)
Michael studied chemistry at the University of Hamburg. When the first version of "Fascination of Crystals and Symmetry" was created, he was researching metal-organic frameworks and their underlying structures. In the meantime, Michael completed his PhD and left academia. In his current work, he has no exposure to crystals anymore. However, Michael kept his fascination for tilings, patterns and symmetries that we can see in everyday life!
Chemist, Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Hamburg
Michael Fröba studied chemistry in Würzburg and Hamburg and received his doctorate in 1993 from the Institute of Physical Chemistry, where he worked with Prof. W. Metz on graphite intercalation compounds. From 1994 to 1996, he was a Feodor Lynen research fellow in the group of Dr J. Wong at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. After his habilitation at the University of Hamburg in 2000, he was appointed as an Associate Professor for Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. From 2001 to 2007 he was Full Professor for Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Giessen, and since 2007 he holds a chair for Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Hamburg, with a strong focus on solid-state and materials chemistry.