As part of observation of 2014 as Year of Crystallography

Crystals are found everywhere, whether it is in the salt or sugar that we eat, or the diamonds that we wear.

The applications of crystals are even more. Almost every technology that we have today relies on crystals in some form or the other.

The study of these crystals, or crystallography, therefore is an essential one that could change the way we live our lives.

This year, there is a concerted effort to make the community aware of crystallography, which is why the International Union of Crystallography has declared 2014 the year of Crystallography. Around the world, there are a series of programmes being conducted to get people know more about the crystals.

Near here, the Pondicherry Science Forum and the Department of Science, Technology and Environment on Saturday, organised a series of lecture on the importance of crystallography for college students and scientists.

Professors from the Department of Genetic Engineering and Plant Bio Technology Department from Madurai Kamaraj University S. Krishnasamy and R. Usha delivered lectures on Crystallography.

As part of their campaign, they have also planned to approach schools and colleges to submit their applications for the crystal growing competition.

The competition is being organised by the International Union and the idea is to establish a worldwide network of schools to conduct crystal growing experiments, one of the members of the Science Forum said.

Growing crystals is not difficult, but it can often be very challenging. Through these experiments, the students will not only be a part of a worldwide community, but they will also be a part of the learning experience.

Whether they will conduct a regional competition or not will be decided later, but the idea is to get the students interested.

The students will need some basic equipment, like a weighing scale, some water and the substance they will crystallise and they can be guided by their teachers, the member said.

More In: Puducherry