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On September 17th, 1998 the Ithaca Journal ran its first "Ask A Scientist!"
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Previous Week's Question Published: 19 May, 2005 Next Week's Question

Atoms combine to form unit cells, which create crystals
Question
How are crystals formed?
Ask your own question!

Question
Crystals can form in a few minutes or take thousands of years to grow. But
all crystals that you can see with your eyes are made of many trillions of
extremely small building blocks called atoms. A grain of salt is a simple
crystal which is made of two types of atoms: sodium and chlorine. If you
look at a salt crystal carefully (or under a microscope)


Source: www.ccmr.cornell.edu/education/ask/?quid=742


how are crystals formed


Crystal - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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** Crystal **

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about crystalline solids. For the type of glass, see Lead
glass. For other uses, see Crystal (disambiguation).
"Crystals" and "Xtal" redirect here. For other uses, see Crystals
(disambiguation) and Xtal (disambiguation).


This article *needs additional citations for verification*. Please help
improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced
material may be challenged and removed. /(January 2012)/

A crystal of amethyst quartz.
Microscopically, a single crystal has atoms in a near-perfect periodic
arrangement; a polycrystal is composed of many microscopic crystals (called
"crystallites" or "grains"); and an amorphous solid (such as glass) has no
periodic arrangement even microscopically.

A *crystal* or *crystalline solid* is a solid material whose constituent
atoms, molecules, or ions are arranged in an ordered pattern extending in
all three spatial dimensions. In addition to their microscopic structure,
large crystals are usually identifiable by their macroscopic geometrical
shape, consisting of flat faces with specific, characteristic
orientations.^[/citation needed/]

The scientific study of crystals and crystal formation is known as
crystallography. The process of crystal formation via mechanisms of crystal
growth is called crystallization or solidification. The word /crystal/ is
derived from the Ancient Greek word
κρύσταλλος (/krustallos/), meaning both
“ice” and “rock crystal”,^[1] from κρύος
(/kruos/), "icy cold, frost".^[2]^[3]

Common crystals include snowflakes, diamonds, and table salt; however, most
common inorganic solids are polycrystals. Crystals are often symmetrically
intergrown to form crystal twins.

*Contents*

· 1 Crystal structure (microscopic)
· 2 Crystal faces and shapes
· 3 Occurrence in nature

· 3.1 Rocks
· 3.2 Ice
· 3.3 Organigenic crystals

· 4 Polymorphism and allotropy
· 5 Crystallization
· 6 Defects, impurities, and twinning
· 7 Chemical bonds

·


Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystal

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