Welcome to our STOE Christmas sweater competition!

It is the time of the year where the AC that keeps the temperatures in your diffraction laboratory constant starts feeling a bit cold, so time to throw on a nice warm sweater. Have you ever taken a closer look at the pattern of your classic christmas sweater? You might be able to identify some symmetries in there, maybe even enough to find a matching plane group.
Finding the correct plane groups in sweater patterns is exactly what you need to do to enter our competition to win one of them!

Intrigued? Here are the rules:
The patterns of the four sweaters in the picture on the right (you can also download the individual pictures below to enlarge them or print them out) are all drawn according to the symmetries in a plane group. Try to find all the symmetry elements and the smallest possible unit cell, choose the matching plane group and note its name with the notation according to the “International Tables for Crystallography Volume A: Space-group symmetry”, chapter 2.2. [1].
Send your four answers to newsletter@stoe.com before January 8th, 2024, 23:59 (CET). The four winners are selected by random drawing from the pool of correct answers on January 12th, 2024 and contacted afterwards by email.

– 1 STOE sweater “wave”
– 1 STOE sweater “reindeer”
– 1 STOE sweater “classic”
– 1 STOE sweater “snowflake”  

Per participant only one sent in email with four correct responses enters the pot of potential winners and answers posted to our social media announcements will not be counted. Multiple entries for example by pseudonym or from a different email account belonging to a person who already participated in the contest is forbidden and leads to exclusion of the respective person.

[1] We have used the following edition: “International Tables for Crystallography Volume A: Space-group symmetry”, Second online edition (2016), ISBN: 978-0-470-97423-0, doi: 10.1107/97809553602060000114, chapter 2.2. The 17 plane groups (two-dimensional space groups)  (pp. 175-192).

Can’t wait until the new year? Feel free to order your own symmetry sweater on our new merchandise shop stoe.myspreadshop.de – profits made from this will be donated to the charity “Doctors without Borders”.


We are thrilled to share that we have four winners to our „STOE Christmas sweater competition“:

  • Marko Rodić
  • Bertold Rasche
  • Frank Hoffmann
  • Michael Fischer

Our warmest congratulations go out to the knowledgeable and lucky winners!

With the end of this contest we also publish our solutions, which you can download below.

Terms and Conditions