Category Archives: Crystal MOOC

Chapter 7 released on YouTube

Dear Friends,

Chapter 7 of our course is now available on YouTube. This is the final chapter of this course and it will be all about nets and topology.

We will show you how to use three programs for the analysis of framework structures: TOPOS, Systre and 3dt.


Michael & Frank


Chapter 6 available on YouTube

Dear friends,

in chapter 6 of our course “The Fascination of Crystals and Symmetry” we will introduce a very special class of crystalline materials, which are called Metal-Organic Frameworks or short MOFs.

Research interest in this kind of materials has intensified immensely over the last decade. As MOFs are also the field of study of our research group, telling you something about these very special crystals is a matter of heart for us.

MOFs are comprised of inorganic and organic secondary building units. We will take a look at different variations of how these secondary building units can be assembled together and we will introduce the principles of classification of these network-like assemblies.

We provide also several crystal structures of MOFs as VESTA files, in order for you to be able to get familiar with the structural features of MOFs at the atomic level. (You can find a tutorial on how to obtain and install VESTA in Unit 2.7)

Please find the playlist of chapter 6 on YouTube here.

Enjoy the beauty of porous crystals!

Michael & Frank


Chapter 5 now on YouTube

Chapter 5 released!

Dear all,

today Chapter 5 of our course has been released on YouTube!

In this chapter we will practise the handling with the International Tables a little further. But in contrast to staring only at circles and commas we will additionally look at real world crystals and some of their symmetry and physical properties.

And you can be curious about the story of one of the most thrilling scientific discoveries of the last century: the discovery of quasicrystals by Dan Shechtman.


Frank and Michael


Chapter 4 released on YouTube

Dear Friends,

Chapter 4 of our course ‘The Fascination of Crystals and Symmetry’ is now available on YouTube.

In this chapter we will focus on symmetry operations that separate crystal structures from (other) macroscopic objects: glide planes and screw axes. After that we are ready to climb up the last step of our “ladder of crystal classification”, reaching, finally, the space groups. We will open the “crystallographers’ bible”, the International Tables for Crystallography, Volume A.

best wishes!

Frank and Michael



Chapter 3 released on YouTube

Chapter 3 is all about symmetry. We will start with the symmetries that can be found in everyday objects.

You will then learn how to classify crystals into their respective classes. We have prepared a small poster, so you can keep track of your very own collection of crystals.

Furthermore, we want to begin to talk about translational symmetry. This symmetry is a particular feature of crystal structures with their repetitive patterns.

Chapter 2 now on YouTube

Today we released the second chapter of our course into the YouTube channel!

It starts with a virtual flight through the Mineralogical Museum of the University of Hamburg. In the following outer shapes of crystals, Miller indices, the Bravais lattices, and fractional coordinates are being discussed. Furthermore, we introduce VESTA, an incredible piece of software (freeware), which not only allows you to analyze crystal structures, but also to build your own crystals structures and visualize crystal shapes!


Michael & Frank