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Shining (Dis)order

A close up picture of some large red transluscent gemstones

Event schedule details

Saturday 15 & Sunday 16 June

Event location details

Creative Science Zone

Sir Alexander Fleming Building, Imperial College London

Have you ever thought of what, at the atomic scale, makes the rarest gems so beautiful? For centuries, physico-chemists have investigated the special properties of crystals and their fascinating interaction with light. Based on this knowledge, they have been able to design various new colorful shining materials for art and technological purposes.

Come discover what’s hidden in our boxes and peer into the unknown beauty of natural disorder. Find out how luminescence mechanisms in solids and molecules lead to new research hot-topics in materials, including the ability to help cure cancer.

A team of collaborating scientists from Imperial College London’s Department of Materials and French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) Montpellier will guide you through their demonstration helped by the work of a visual artist. This activity has been produced with support from the French Embassy in the UK.

Visitor information

This is a drop in event suited to adults. The event has step-free access.

To attend the Festival, please make sure to register for free. Registering is the only way to receive the latest Festival updates, a first look at the programme, and opportunities to book free tickets for popular events.


Event categories

  • Adults
  • Exhibit
A close up picture of some large red transluscent gemstones