# Chemistry - How to determine gerade & ungerade symmetry of a MO orbital?

The better way to do it is to check what happens under inversion ($i$ or $\bar 1$). If the orbital stays the same, it is g, otherwise u.

However, as Orthocresol mentioned in the comments, checking that is only possible if the entire molecule contains inversion symmetry. Not all point groups do, and the vast majority of molecules does not (partly because $C_1$ is likely the most prevalent point group out there).

For example, consider transition metals’ d orbitals. In octahedral complexes, they are labelled $\mathrm{t_{2g}}$ and $\mathrm{e_g}$. In tetrahedral complexes, which do not have inversion symmetry, they are $\mathrm{t_2}$ and $\mathrm{e}$.