Dear naturalists, physicists, chemists, artists, and indeed, all good teachers!

Does it make You happy, teaching on examples from practice? Do You take textbooks easy? Are You not affraid of inquisitive questions? Then the exhibition "Quartz and its Family" held in the Museum of Eastern Bohemia in Hradec Králové is just right for You! We have concentrated all the main of our lives what is connected to quartz and it's relatives - silicon and silicates, in over 30 showcases in the area of 250 square metres. We start with nature, continuing with history of the mankind, technology divided into 15 sectors, and so common things, that we don't even realize they are connected to quartz. Special attention is payed to the production and usage of glass, silicones, carborundum and silicates. Silicon plays an important role in the industrial history of Hradec Králové. Another part of the exhibition is devoted to natural forms of silicon dioxide: agates and jasper from the surrounding areas and all over the world. For detailed content of the exhibition, see the Exhibition guide section.

The following thing would be of interest to you:

Crystal, in Ancient Greek called crystallos, gave the world the word crystal, and the name to all crystals of anything. The existence and shape of the crystal emerged from a crystal lattice. The crystal lattice is an oldest programme in the world: a programme for copying, and creating identical copies of anything. If some mineral is of simple composition, there aren't many options to change the programme. But silicon has a magical property - together with oxygen and some metal, it is able to form a complex and extensive three-dimensional crystal lattice, to which almost anything can be joined (even organic compounds) and create mostly identical copies. The word "mostly" is of great importance here. A very small number of "false" copies is called EVOLUTION in biology. Darwin did not suspect, but it is possible that life was once arose due to copying all the possible to the complex crystal lattice of silicates, which are contained in a common clay. There are more reasons "pro", but it is up to You to think about...

Teacher footnote:

The exhibition shows the diversity and beauty of quartz varieties, as well as the importance of silicon and its compounds for nature and our civilization. Similarly like we can't imagine life without carbon, we would have almost nothing surounding us without silicon. Technical applications are divided into 15 fields of human activities and great importance is given to the production and usage of crystals, glass, ceramics, carborundum and silicon. Hundreds of mostly polished agate and jasper samples from the whole world show the diversity of natural varieties of a single chemical compound - SiO2. The aesthetic effect and impression are enhanced by the observation using binocular microscope - in stones, there are unknown worlds hidden, accomopanied by macrophotos... A simple experiment shows a surprising features of quartz, which are used in several technology fields.