The course content is
released in two week blocks and consists of approximately 1 hr of
lectures and tutorials per week. There are specific windows for uploading
homework and undertaking peer-to-peer marking. These are detailed in the downloadable course timetable.
Part I: Basic Concepts of Symmetry
- Week 1: ‘A World of Symmetry’ will refresh your intuitive
appreciation of symmetry in furniture, botany and common objects and introduce
the mathematics of point symmetry.
- Week 2: ‘Tiling and the Asymmetric Unit’ begins by examining tessellations
in architecture that will illustrate key concepts in plane symmetry including
the asymmetric unit. ‘Chirality’ discusses this key concept in symmetry and its impact on drug design
Part II: Plane (2D) and Space (3D)
- Week 3: ‘Escher and Graphic Design’ introduces symmetry operations in 2 dimensions
and the difference between ‘primitive’ and ‘centered’ unit cells are illustrated
using the art of Escher. ‘Nets’ examines the role of symmetry in Islamic
architecture and history in the context of regular networks.
4: ‘Space Symmetry’ expands the symmetry operations to include 3 dimensional
motion. The methodology for reading and
using the symmetry diagrams of the 17 plane groups and 230 space groups is
Part III: Symmetry in Crystals
- Week 5: ‘Crystal Forms and the Beauty of Minerals’ looks the external shape of
mineral crystals and we learn about crystal power by visiting a geomancer. The manner in which crystal faceting
reflects the internal atomic arrangements is described. ‘Planes, Directions and Unit Cell’ introduces the mathematics
for describing perfect crystal structures.
- Week 6: ‘Platonic Solids and Atomic Bonding’
shows that regular geometrical shapes can be derived from folding plane
nets into polyhedra that often describe atomic clustering and also the appearance of defects or
asymmetry that are important aesthetically and technologically. A laboratory tour will show the experiments
used to extract crystallographic information.
Part IV: Symmetry and Technology
- Week 7: ‘Tailoring Crystals for Technology’ brings together chemistry and
crystallography, shows how they are inter-related, and how they are adapted to
engineer designer technological materials.
A clean room fabrication facility provides real world context for
exploiting chemically- and physically-driven symmetry.
- Week 8: ‘Looking for Broken Symmetry - Atomic Scale Imaging’ looks beyond 3 dimensional symmetry to higher dimensional
repetitions found in incommensurate crystal structures. ‘Deceptive Perception - Symmetry & Furniture Design’ returns to the everyday appearance of symmetry that can now be
At the conclusion of this study, you will
possess the tools and the motivation to look at symmetry with even greater
delight, wonder and appreciation!
Coursera est une entreprise numérique proposant des formation en ligne ouverte à tous fondée par les professeurs d'informatique Andrew Ng et Daphne Koller de l'université Stanford, située à Mountain View, Californie.
Ce qui la différencie le plus des autres plateformes MOOC, c'est qu'elle travaille qu'avec les meilleures universités et organisations mondiales et diffuse leurs contenus sur le web.