Nathan Carter

Here are a list of frequently asked questions about Group Explorer. Feel free to add to this list if you have an important question and know or want its answer, or if you have used Group Explorer in a class and have gotten the same question asked frequently by your students.

General questions

  • Is there a manual or book?
    There is an excellent help system integrated with the program which can be previewed online here. There is no book or printed manual available, but Nathan is working on a book about group theory visualization in general which will work nicely with GE without depending on it. There is also an article about the old version, most of which still applies.
  • Can I use the images GE produces in (fill in this blank)?
    Yes. Use them in any way you like. It would be nice if you referenced GE as the creator of the images, and suggestions for how to do so can be found here. I would also love it if you sent me a copy of your work when you're done (or a reference to it) so that I can know in what venues GE's images are useful.

Math questions

  • How do the groups in your library relate to the chemical point groups?
    I don't have a comparison table/illustrations created, but I would love to see one. If you want to make it, add a page to this wiki and put the link here, and it won't be long before I email you with a big "Thank you"!
  • Where can I get more groups?
    There's a page on this wiki just for that!

Feature questions

  • Aren't the multiplication tables backwards?
    Yes, this is a bug. It is in the queue for changing; refer to this news item.
  • Can GE compute (fill in this blank)?
    Group Explorer can do several computations, but all of them are computations whose answers can be displayed visually. GE does not aim to be a computational program, but a visualization one. There are many excellent mathematical computation packages out there, some of them specific to abstract algebra and/or group theory.

Computer questions

  • Does it work on Linux?
    Yes, but you have to build it from source yourself. There are easy-to-follow directions for doing so here.
  • How do I save my customizations to groups in the library?
    You don't have to. GE automatically does, in your settings file. This file is placed in a platform-dependent location, as described here.
  • Can I put a portable copy on a USB drive?
    Yes. Follow the directions here.


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