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.
John Meurig Thomas and David Phillips
How does a crystal look like up close? John Meurig Thomas uses optical and electron diffraction to reveal the crystal architecture and explains how the architecture of proteins links to their function.