Free Online Course: The Fascination of Crystals and Symmetry

Deadline: ongoing
Open to: students worldwide with basic knowledge in Chemistry
Venue: on-line


Rubies, sugar, snowflakes: crystals are beauty, arranged in grid structures. This MOOC explains the basic building blocks of crystals, their symmetrical structure and introduces free software for crystal structure exploring.

In this course, iversity provides 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). The course will show you how symmetry is classified in a hierarchical way. Iversity wants their students to gain the ability to discover symmetry on their own.

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?


The course is available to students of all countries worldwide who have basic knowledge in Chemistry (atoms, simple molecules).

The course will take approx. 3 hours per week.

How to enroll?

It is free for you to enroll on this online course. You can do that by directing to the following link HERE .

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.

For further information please direct to the official webpage.

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