Crystals in the City

Centennial Parklands is hosting a fascinating object. From batteries to the centre of our Earth this structure is all around us – and yet many of us have never heard of it.

Crystals in the City is an event that celebrates the International Year of Crystallography.

First, what is crystallography?

How would a material look if you could see through it and see the atoms it is made from? How does stuff actually stay together? Many of the answers to these questions are provided by the science of crystallography.

Crystallography is a unique scientific technique that allows us to peer inside a material and discover how the atoms that make it up are arranged.

Make sense? Well, try reading this or watching the following video:


Crystals are groups of atoms or molecules that have different shapes and properties. They are everywhere; in nature, mobile phones, food, watches, batteries and jewellery. Crystallography is used in almost all areas of science and technology and has improved the way we build, use energy, study living things and practice medicine.

What can I see in Centennial Park?

A mega Perovskite!

Come to Centennial Park to see a super-magnified version of a crystal shape known as a Perovskite.

The Perovskite in Centennial Park

The Perovskite in Centennial Park

Perovskite is the name of both a mineral and other crystal structures with the same simple shape. The changing colours of the ball inside this box-shaped crystal represent elements like calcium or strontium that might make up a Perovskite crystal.

Solar cells are just one area of technology benefiting from the understanding and use of Perovskite crystals.

(In fact, Perovskite crystals are used in fuel and solar cells, electrolytes in batteries, and memory and electro-optical devices. So the computer or device you’re reading this on may well be made possible through these crystals!).

Where can I see the Perovskite crystal?

The mega Perovskite crystal is located adjacent Centennial Parklands Dining (near the ramp leading up to the kiosk deck). It will be on display throughout August 2014, and will feature as part of the upcoming Science in the Swamp event in Centennial Park (16 August).

Where can I learn more about crystals and crystallography?

You can try:


Crystals in the City sponsors


Centennial Parklands is a place of recreation, entertainment, nature and learning. We are leading the industry in nature-based education activities for children, and will shortly host the ‘Science in the Swamp‘ free community event. If you are interested in learning more, subscribe to our eNewsletters today.




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