Science -- Your Future, Scotland's Future
SCI-FUN's Christmas Card
The image produced by the generator program
On the back of the card is a fractal snowflake, generated using a simple set of rules, with the (free) Fractal Snowflake Generator program, provided by A.I.Studio.

Real snowflakes exhibit a hexagonal structure because the water molecules in ice have a tendency to stack together in the form of a regular crystalline lattice, which exhibits six-fold symmetry. (Of course, the phase change of liquid water ice is a form of symmetry breaking – liquid water exhibits a much higher degree of symmetry. (Broadly speaking, a blob of water looks the same from every direction...)

Information on Ampicillin
The background of the flake is one of the many beautiful polarised crystal photographs (shown opposite) which can be viewed at Molecular Expressions, a wonderful photomicroscopy website. (Click on the image to find out more about the picture.)

There's an excellent microscopy primer at the Molecular Expressions site, with information on equipment and techniques.

The image shown here and on the card is copyright Molecular Expressions, and is used with their permission.