March of the crystals

Inspired by the series of posts from the “frozen project” by a 6-year old and mom; I brought out my Vitamin C crystal bottle again.

See Frozen project series here:

@Laks and I have previously posted extensively on Vitamin C crystallization and also it’s biological implications [see post here]

Now it was time for me to explore time-lapse techniques for imaging crystal formation. I have previously described my time-lapse techniques here. Also, several fantastic posts have been made on “how to incorporate cross polarizers” in foldscope to get birefringent effects; in a broad range of samples. Another incredible posts exists on how to image static crystals in polarization foldscope.

So when you combine all the above, you get my band of marching crystals. This is a time lapse with the video speed being 4X to 20X. The rate of growth of the crystal depends on the speed of evaporation. All I do is break a simple vitamin C pill in water; and mix very well. I put a drop on a glass slide and mount it inside my foldscope; with an iPhone used to capture. I run a default 1 image per minute time lapse and just watch the water evaporate. I find the boundary conditions created by these crystals fascinating. I am sure you will enjoy the video. So without further delay; I present to you – “The March of the Crystals”

You want to recreate this – since every time the crystals forms; they will take unique patterns. I wonder if I confine them in a shape of a star; what would they look like. Only one way to find out..


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