The World’s biggest crystallography model of common salt was unveiled today at the 24th Congress and General Assembly of the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr) 2017 at HICC by Prof. Gautam R Desiraju, Chairman, LOC IUCr2017 Congress & Past President, IUCr, Dr. Robert Krickl, Crystallographer & Sir Thomas L Blundell, University of Cambridge). This model has been displayed for the first time in India at HICC, Hyderabad.13

There was a special session on ‘Salt of the Earth’ and the various aspects of this unique compound, sodium chloride, NaCl, common salt, that is so important in crystallography and in Indian History too. This model has made it to the Guinness Book of Records.

This model (~ 25 m3 volume, 680 kg, 38 880 balls, and 10.5 km of connecting sticks) shows the largest section of a crystal’s atomic structure ever to be physically modeled true to scale in 3D. This model, built by crystallographer Dr. Robert Krickl, was displayed at City Hall of Vienna in 2015 and many other places in Europe to serve didactic purposes, to communicate the beauty of nature and introduce science to general public – especially young people.

Speaking on the occasion Prof. Gautam R Desiraju, Chairman, LOC IUCr 2017 Congress & Past President, said, we are happy to unveil the World’s biggest crystallography model of common salt in Hyderabad. The scope of the IUCr Congress is expanding towards disciplines, which are related to crystallography, materials to biology and have a strong presence in the industrial sector.

Speaking on the occasion Dr. Robert Krickl, Crystallographer said, I want to show – to visualise – how our world looks when it is magnified about a billion times. This discovery really had a major impact on science and our understanding of the world. It led to the determination of the structure of DNA, of viruses, of proteins – and on the other hand, of materials used in our daily lives, for technology to build faster, better lighter machine.