Learn about crystallography through watching

 

Below are listed some interesting video clips, webcasts, television programmes and films that explain crystallography. Click on the large images to download a video file, watch the clip, or be directed to an external website. Click on the smaller images for more information.

A selection of videos from the International Year of Crystallography playlist on YouTube


[Schools competition Final]

Growing crystals in Canberra

A short film about growing crystals with potash alum, made by children participating in the 2014 Crystal Growing Competition of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (Australian Capital Territory branch). This is one of several local crystal growing competitions. An objective of the International Year of Crystallography is to coordinate and extend these local efforts, and to introduce more schoolchildren worldwide to the fun and frustration of growing crystals.

Category: Film & Animation. Duration: 2m 37s
Licence: Standard YouTube Licence


The Royal Institution Crystallography Collection


[celebrating crystallography displays a laser diffraction pattern]

Forbidden crystal symmetry in mathematics and architecture

Revealing forbidden symmetry

Sir Roger Penrose provides a unique insight into the "forbidden symmetry" of his famous penrose tiles and the use of non-repeating patterns in design and architecture. It is a rigorous mathematical theorem that the only crystallographic symmetries are 2-fold, 3-fold, 4-fold, and 6-fold symmetries.

Yet, since the 1970s 5-fold, 8-fold, 10-fold and 12-fold "almost" symmetric patterns have been exhibited, showing that such crystallographically "forbidden symmetries" are mathematically possible and deviate from exact symmetry by an arbitrarily small amount. Such patterns are often beautiful to behold and designs based on these arrangements have now been used in many buildings throughout the world.

In this Ri event Sir Roger Penrose reveals the mathematical underpinnings and origins of these "forbidden symmetries" and other related patterns. His talk is illustrated with numerous examples of their use in architectural design including a novel version of "Penrose tiling" that appears in the approach to the main entrance of the new Mathematics Institute in Oxford, officially opened in late 2013.

The tiling is constructed from several thousand diamond-shaped granite tiles of just two different shapes, decorated simply with circular arcs of stainless steel. The matching of the tiles forces them into an overall pattern which never repeats itself and exhibits remarkable aspects of 5-fold and 10-fold symmetry.

Similar features have been found also in the atomic structures of quasi-crystalline materials. The initial discovery of such material earned Dan Shectman the 2011 Nobel Prize for chemistry, his work having launched a completely novel area of crystallography.

Images of the completed Mathematics Institute in Oxford courtesy of Vanesa Penrose. The filming and production of this event was supported by the Science and Technology Facilities Council. Production by Edward Prosser. Additional camera operation by Mark Billy Svensson. 

Published: 2014
Filmed: 2013. Duration: 58m 13s
Credits: Royal Institution

License: © Royal Institution



The Mystery of the Giant Crystals

[Inside the Naica cave]The film El Misterio de los Cristales Gigantes (The Mystery of the Giant Crystals) has been made freely available by Madrid Scientific Films and Triana Sci & Tech with the support of the International Union of Crystallography as an educational contribution to the International Year of Crystallography 2014. Written and presented by Juan Manuel García Ruiz and directed by Javier Trueba, the film tells the story of the scientific investigation into the nature and properties of the giant gypsum crystals found in a silver mine in Mexico in 2000.

Trailer

Follow this link to read more about the project or to donate to the work of Triana Sci & Tech

Streaming HD video

Click on the images below to view the film in high definition in English, Spanish, Italian or French.


[Inside the Naica caves]

The Mystery of the Giant Crystals

The Cave of the Crystals (Cueva de los Cristales) in the Naica Mine, Chihuahua, Mexico, houses some of the largest natural crystals ever found. They are selenite, a form of the mineral gypsum (CaSO4.2H2O). Juan Manuel Garcíia Ruiz and his colleagues investigate the conditions under which these huge crystals have grown over the course of thousands of years. The temperatures in the subterranean caverns are over 50°C, and the caves are filled with water containing a variety of minerals leached from the surrounding rocks.

Duration: 50m 53s

© 2014 Trianatech.com - All rights reserved


[Inside the Naica caves]

El Misterio de los Cristales Gigantes

La Cueva de los Cristales en la mina de Naica, Chihuahua, México, alberga algunos de los más grandes cristales naturales que se han encontrado. Son selenito, una forma del yeso mineral (CaSO4.2H2O). Juan Manuel García Ruiz y sus colegas investigan las condiciones en que estos enormes cristales han crecido a lo largo de miles de años. Las temperaturas en las cavernas subterráneas son más de 50° C, y las cuevas están llenas de agua que contiene una variedad de minerales lixiviados de las rocas circundantes.

Duration: 50m 54s

© 2014 Trianatech.com - All rights reserved


[Inside the Naica caves]

Il Mistero dei Cristalli Giganti

La Grotta dei Cristalli (Cueva de los Cristales) nella miniera di Naica, Chihuahua, Messico, ospita alcuni dei più grandi cristalli naturali mai trovati. Si tratta di cristalli di selenite, una particolare forma di gesso (CaSO4.2H2O). Juan Manuel García Ruiz e i suoi colleghi indagano sulle condizioni in cui questi enormi cristalli sono cresciuti nel corso di migliaia di anni. La temperatura nelle caverne sotterranee è oltre 50° C, e le grotte sono riempite con acqua contenente una varietà di minerali lisciviati dalle rocce circostanti.

Duration: 50m 58s

© 2014 Trianatech.com - All rights reserved


[Inside the Naica caves]

Le Mystère des Cristaux Géants

La Grotte des Cristaux (Cueva de los Cristales) dans la mine de Naica, Chihuahua, Mexique, abrite quelques-uns des plus grands cristaux naturels jamais trouvés. Ils sont sélénite, une forme de gypse minéral (CaSO4.2H2O). Juan Manuel García Ruiz et ses collègues enquêtent sur les conditions dans lesquelles ces énormes cristaux ont grandi au cours de milliers d'années. Les températures dans les cavernes souterraines sont plus de 50° C, et les grottes sont remplis avec de l'eau contenant une variété de minéraux lessivés des roches environnantes.

Duration: 50m 58s

© 2014 Trianatech.com - All rights reserved

Educational videos


[Electron density map, protein model and crystal]

Plongée au cœur des molécules du vivant

"Voir pour mieux comprendre" pourrait être la devise du biologiste qui s’intéresse à l’architecture de macromolécules composant nos cellules. Or ces nano-objects sont de très petite taille et ne peuvent être observés directement au microscope. Aussi, pour obtenir une image précise à l’échelle de l’atome, il est nécessaire de faire appel à d’autres approches comme la cristallographie aux rayons X. Cette plongée au coeur des molécules du vivant retrace les étapes d’une étude cristallographique conduisant à la visualisation d’une macromolécule biologique. Le travail des chercheurs d’un laboratoire du CNRS (ARN, IBMC, Strasbourg) est suivi pas à pas depuis l’isolement et la purification d’une macromolécule à partir de cellules vivantes jusqu’à l’établissement de son image tridimensionnelle, en passant par sa cristallisation et l’analyse des cristaux à l’aide du rayonnement synchrotron. Ce film illustre des aspects méconnus du quotidien des scientifiques comme le clonage de molécules, l’utilisation de grands instruments tels que les accélérateurs de particules, ou la visualisation 3D.

Category: Education. Duration: 13m 26s

cc_by-nc-sa License: Creative Commons

Historical videos


[Dorothy Hodgkin]

Dorothy Hodgkin, Biochemist

In a series of conversations with Guy Dodson recorded in 1990, the British pioneer of X-ray crystallography, Dorothy Hodgkin (1910-1994), remembers many aspects of her life an work. She is best known for her ground-breaking discovery of the structures of penicillin, insulin and vitamin B12. She was awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and is also known for peace work.

Published: 2008 on the Web of Stories 'Live' channel.
Recorded in 1990.
Duration: 41 clips, each a few minutes in length