Lecture 2 - The architecture of crystals

In this second lecture, John Meurig Thomas presents the vast variety of molecule arrangements within crystals. By using physical models and computer software to reproduce the complex architecture of crystals and proteins he demonstrates the link between architecture and function.

He goes on to explain how by accelerating and bombarding crystals with electrons or light, scientists are able to obtain diffraction patterns providing them with information to reconstruct the position of the molecules within the crystals.

With the help of his student and a member of the audience, he uses an X-ray machine live at the Royal Institution to create a diffraction pattern for the pigment Egyptian Blue. Follow up analysis reveals the constituents of the pigment based on the pattern generated. 

Topics

Materials

Year

1987

Lecturer

John Meurig Thomas and David Phillips

Duration

57:12

All lectures in the series