2014 the International Year of Crystallography

Hey, I’m not even going to bring up global warming, though lordie lordie could I - here’s something fun and interesting.

X-ray scattering pattern collected from the Martian surface by NASA’s Curiosity rover NASA/JPL-Caltech/Ames

http://theconversation.com/the-little-known-science-that-improved-everything-around-us-22452 UNESCO has declared 2014 as the International Year of Crystallography. But why? Quite simply because the science of crystallography has revolutionised how we live – and yet few people know about it. Crystallography is the study of crystalline solids to understand how the atoms inside the solids are arranged. Normally this involves firing a beam of X-rays at a sample and recording the pattern of those scattered X-rays. From the interpretation of these patterns we can deduce information about the way atoms are arranged in a solid. By understanding the atomic arrangement we can interpret the properties these solids display and hopefully improve upon them. Single crystals (like a single grain of salt or sugar) scatter a single beam of X-rays as many well-divided beams that can be recorded as a series of spots on an X-ray sensitive plate. ...