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Article: Crystal


Crystal Structure and Properties

  • Crystals are solids with a highly ordered microscopic structure.
  • Polycrystals are composed of many microscopic crystals.
  • Amorphous solids, like glass, have no periodic arrangement.
  • Crystallization is the process of crystal formation.
  • Lead crystal and crystal glass are actually types of glass, not crystals.
  • Crystals are recognized by their flat faces and sharp angles.
  • Euhedral crystals have well-formed flat faces, while anhedral crystals do not.
  • Flat faces of a crystal grow larger and smoother over time.
  • Crystallographic forms are sets of possible faces related by crystal symmetry.
  • A crystal's habit is its visible external shape.
  • Crystals have unique physical and chemical properties.
  • Some common properties of crystals include transparency, hardness, cleavage, and optical properties.
  • Crystals can exhibit various colors due to the presence of impurities or defects in their lattice.
  • The arrangement of atoms or molecules in a crystal lattice determines its electrical conductivity.
  • Crystals can also exhibit piezoelectric and ferroelectric properties, which make them useful in electronic devices.
  • Crystals have a wide range of applications in various industries.
  • Gemstones, such as diamonds and rubies, are highly valued for their beauty and rarity.
  • Crystals are used in electronics for their electrical and optical properties.
  • Some crystals, like quartz, are used in timekeeping devices such as watches and clocks.
  • Crystals are also used in scientific research, medicine, and energy storage technologies.

Crystallography and Crystal Systems

  • Crystallography is the science of measuring the atomic arrangement of a crystal.
  • X-ray diffraction is a widely used crystallography technique.
  • Crystallographic databases store large numbers of known crystal structures.
  • Crystallography helps understand the properties and behavior of crystals.
  • Crystallography has contributed to various fields such as materials science and chemistry.
  • Crystals have a repeating pattern of atoms or molecules arranged in a three-dimensional lattice.
  • The arrangement of atoms or molecules in a crystal lattice determines its symmetry and crystal system.
  • Different crystal systems include cubic, tetragonal, orthorhombic, monoclinic, triclinic, and hexagonal.
  • Crystal structures can be described using X-ray crystallography, which reveals the positions of atoms within a crystal lattice.
  • Crystallographers use mathematical models and symmetry operations to study and classify crystal structures.

Crystal Formation and Occurrence

  • Crystals are formed through a process called nucleation.
  • Nucleation occurs when atoms or molecules come together to form a solid structure.
  • The arrangement of atoms or molecules in a crystal lattice determines its shape and properties.
  • Crystals can form in various environments, including geological, biological, and chemical processes.
  • Factors such as temperature, pressure, and chemical composition influence crystal formation.
  • Crystals are found in solid bedrock.
  • Ice crystals are a natural occurrence.
  • Calcite crystals can be found in fossil shells.
  • Most inorganic solids are polycrystals.
  • Glass is an example of an amorphous solid.

Crystallographic Space Groups and Special Properties

  • Crystal structures are characterized by unit cells.
  • Unit cells stack to form the crystal.
  • There are 219 possible crystal symmetries.
  • Crystal symmetries are grouped into 7 crystal systems.
  • Each crystal system has specific shapes and arrangements.
  • Crystals can have special electrical, optical, and mechanical properties.
  • These properties are related to the lack of rotational symmetry in the crystal's atomic arrangement.
  • Examples of special properties include the piezoelectric effect and birefringence.
  • Electrical conductivity, electrical permittivity, and Young's modulus can vary in different directions in a crystal.
  • Glasses or polycrystals can also exhibit these properties if made anisotropic through stress or working.

Crystal Use in Pseudoscientific Practices and Other Concepts

  • Crystals are used in crystal therapy.
  • They are associated with spellwork in Wiccan beliefs.
  • Gemstones are also used in these practices.
  • Pseudoscientific beliefs do not have scientific evidence.
  • Crystallography is a legitimate scientific study of crystals.
  • Crystals range in size from a fraction of a millimeter to several centimeters.
  • Exceptionally large crystals can be found, such as the 18m long beryl crystal from Madagascar.
  • Crystallization depends on the conditions under which rocks solidify.
  • Igneous rocks form from molten magma and can have varying degrees of crystallization.
  • Metamorphic rocks like marbles and quartzites undergo recrystallization under high temperature and pressure conditions.
  • Water-based ice exists in various forms such as snow, sea ice, and glaciers.
  • A snowflake is a single crystal or a collection of crystals.
  • Ice crystals can form from cooling liquid water or from supersaturated gaseous solutions.
  • Ice expands when it crystallizes, unlike most substances.
  • Ice cubes are examples of polycrystals.
  • Living organisms can produce crystals like calcite, aragonite, and hydroxylapatite.
  • Molluscs produce calcite and aragonite, while bones and teeth contain hydroxylapatite.
  • Crystals grown by organisms form from aqueous solutions.
  • These crystals play important roles in biological structures and functions.
  • Organigenic crystals can have unique properties and structures.
  • Polymorphism refers to the ability of a solid to exist in multiple crystal forms.
  • Water ice, for example, can exist in hexagonal, cubic, and rhombohedral forms.
  • Different polymorphs can have distinct properties and structures.
  • Allotropy is the polymorphism observed in pure chemical elements.
  • Polymorphism and allotropy contribute to the diverse properties of materials like carbon and steel.
  • Crystallization is the formation of a crystalline structure from a fluid or dissolved materials.
  • The final form

Crystal Data Sources

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