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.
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”, from κρύος (kruos), "icy cold, frost".
Common crystals include snowflakes, diamonds, and table salt; however, most common inorganic solids are polycrystals. Crystals are often symmetrically intergrown to form crystal twins.
Read more about Crystal: Crystal Structure (microscopic), Crystal Faces and Shapes, Polymorphism and Allotropy, Crystallization, Defects, Impurities, and Twinning, Chemical Bonds, Quasicrystals, Special Properties From Anisotropy, Crystallography, Gallery
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Famous quotes containing the word crystal:
“In a few days Ill have lived one score and three days in this vale of tears. On I plodalways bored, often drunk, doing no penance for my faultsrather do I become more tolerant of myself from day to day, hardening my crystal heart with blasphemous humor and shunning only toothpicks, pathos, and poverty as being the three unforgivable things in life.”
—F. Scott Fitzgerald (18961940)
“If Los Angeles has been called the capital of crackpots and the metropolis of isms, the native Angeleno can not fairly attribute all of the citys idiosyncrasies to the newcomerat least not so long as he consults the crystal ball for guidance in his business dealings and his wife goes shopping downtown in beach pajamas.”
—For the State of California, U.S. public relief program (1935-1943)
“Im headed for a land thats far away
Beside the crystal fountains.
So come with me, well go and see
The Big Rock Candy Mountains.”
—Unknown. The Big Rock Candy Mountains (l. 58)