Degree of freedom of a polyatomic molecule

Note the difference in the degree of freedoms for linear and nonlinear triatomic molecules. While rotation of a nonlinear triatomic molecule around three axes gives different configuration, rotastion of a linear triatomic molecule around the molecular axis does not give a new configuration. For diatomic molecules, the configurational phase space is limited when two atoms are the same.
Last modified: Sun July 12 13:02:41 2009