The Grade IX students recently visited the X-ray crystallography facility at IIT, Madras.
Students visited the lab and they were shown how crystal mounting was done. They then used a Polaroid microscope to see the crystal to check whether it was mounted properly.
They were then taken to the see the crystallography machine where the process of x-ray formation was explained to them. The importance of using the coolant, liquid nitrogen, for preventing the damage to the crystal was explained by the learners by applying the particle theory.
Students also watched two videos, one on the process of x-ray crystallography and another on the facility “Diamond” which was used worldwide by scientists to identify the structure of protein. The video explained genetic engineering done in bacteria to produce the required quantity of protein, separating and purifying it and them making the same to grow as a crystal. They commented that this was a “time consuming project”. Students could see the practical application of subject integration, where mathematics, computer science, physics, chemistry and biology coexisted in harmony to result in breath-taking discoveries!