By metastable-materials, Jul 16 2014 08:46AM
On 26th June, the Metastable Materials team attended the Big Bang Fair South West at the University of Exeter. The event was attended by 2000 school students and over 80 exhibitors from all over the South West. We had an interactive stand, making sweet crystals from marshmallows, jelly babies and cocktail sticks (5kg of each type was consumed in the day!). We started training the next generation of beamline scientists using a fully functioning lego beamline loaned to us by Diamond Light Source. We also put the students' sense of smell and observational skills to the test by looking at the chiral molecule carvone, which gives the distinctive smells of spearmint and carraway seed. We had metastable balloons and bubbles to give away too!
The stand proved to be very popular (not just because of the sweets!) and we were able to communicate the importance of the structure of solid materials both in terms of the molecular shape (and why we are working on chiral molecules), but also in terms of the intricacies of crystal packing demonstrated by the polymorphism of chocolate (we had some really bad chocolate on display). It was a long day for the team but a thoroughly enjoyable one!
For more pictures, go to our Gallery page.