Crystal

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

Famous quotes containing the word crystal:

    But the thing that I saw in your face
    No power can disinherit:
    No bomb that ever burst
    Shatters the crystal spirit.
    George Orwell (1903–1950)

    Shall we gather at the river,
    Where bright angel feet have trod;
    With its crystal tide for ever,
    Flowing by the throne of God?
    Robert Lowry (1826–1899)

    Wise men read very sharply all your private history in your look and gait and behavior. The whole economy of nature is bent on expression. The tell-tale body is all tongues. Men are like Geneva watches with crystal faces which expose the whole movement.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)