“Journey into Crystals” – “結晶への探検” : a mobile exhibition at the Okayama Prefectural Science Museum (from 6th to 8th of January – 2018)

Jourey_into_crystals_title_imageAn Exhibition titled “Journey into Crystals” was on display in the shape of “Kake-jiku-掛軸” (a traditional way showing Japanese art) at the Okayama Prefectural Science Museum (サイピア from 6th to 8th of January – 2018).

« Journey into Crystals » is a set of panels introducing viewers to the role of crystals in science and daily life. « Journey into Crystals » was initiated in 2009 by Dr. Hodeau in collaboration with the Museum of Natural History of Grenoble – France.

It was then organised in other French cities. It served as the basis for a crystal-to-crystallography exhibition at the 2012 Bragg Centenary Symposium in Adelaide-Australia, and was displayed at UNESCO in 2014. For the The International Year of Crystallography – 2014 (IYCr2014), a set of multilingual hands-on travelling panels were prepared. They were used in different communities in Africa, South America, and Asia.
However, the Okayama exhibit marked the first time « Journey into Crystals » has been displayed in Japan. In addition, with the support of Professor J.R. Shen, the 2016 Nishikawa prize laureate, Dr. Hodeau, and Professor M. Nespolo from the University Nancy Lorraine and also members of the IUCr, as well as Dr. J. Yamakawa of Okayama University, 39 pannels were translated into Japanese by students from the GSCO program at Okayama University.

To supplement the panels, GSCO staff planned and prepared a number of activities, workshops, and experiments linked to crystals and crystallography.

The “Journey into Crystals” exhibition opened on January 5th: at the reception, on behalf of the organization committee of the Kakejiku exhibition, Prof. H. Sano (Vice-president for Education), Prof. D. Takeuchi (Vice-president for Research), Dr. J-L. Hodeau and Mr. I. Muraki (Director of Okayama Prefectural Life Learning centre) delivered brief addresses.

A large success was obtained as more than 300 families including a number of chidren came to サイピア over the 3 days and enjoyed the beautifully designed posters and fascinating workshops.

The range of educational workshops caught the attention of the visitors: from the birth of crystals, deep in earth, to Bismuth crystal growth, magnetic crystals and the fascinating “spin waves”, up to an exposure to basic “symmetry” notions by learning principles and being trained to the art of “Origami”. Diffractions of monochromatic laser lights were demonstrated by using diffraction gratings. And the intriguing Mpemba effect related with varying water crystallization temperature was also investigated with the eager participation of the public.

Visitors were also intrigued by the magnificent videos and movies on display screens: the Naica mine ( the Mexican state of Chihuahua) and the huge Gypsum crystals were specifically attractive. The mysterious Crystals Trees were among the most visited hot-spots of the exhibition.

As the exhibition is mobile, after Okayama event it will travel to other places in Japan with the help of the Crystallographic Society of Japan (CrSJ).

“Journey into Crystals” also was widely reported by local and national newspapers such as the Sanyo, Asahi and Yomiuri Shinbun.