Project M - 1000 samples, 100 schools, one great big experiment
110 schools took part in Project M - a novel and exciting research project. To help us understand calcium carbonate, schools made samples using specially selected additives. The samples were sent back to us to analyse using our laboratory Beamline I11 at Diamond. We analysed samples returned in a 24-hour period on the 26th of April 2017. This experiment created a giant set of results, which has just been published in the chemistry journal CrystEngComm.
Check our our poster and video below.
We have also written a smaller paper in the journal Frontiers in Communication sharing our personal lessons learnt with the scientific community. We have learnt a huge amount from doing this work and are hugely grateful to all schools who got involved.
Calcium carbonate has three main forms or ‘polymorphs’: vaterite, calcite and aragonite. We are trying to find out which of the polymorphs form for each of the additives. Some of these additives are amino acids, the building blocks which create proteins in the body. We know how to identify the different polymorphs using Diamond – they each have a specific chemical fingerprint which we can detect using X-rays.
Project M Poster
Click here to view the poster in full.