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Facts About Crystals

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Crystals come in many different shapes and colors. Some are used for today’s electronics while others are cut and polished for jewelry. They can be made in laboratories but are also found in the Earth. There are even different types of crystals. Some that make pyramid shapes and other that make squares. If you are interested in learning more about crystals you should read on.

An example of 3 types of solidsAn example of 3 types of solids. Crystalline are solids where the atoms form a periodic pattern (eg. snowflakes, diamonds & table salt) Polycrystalline are composed of many microscopic crystals (eg. metals, rocks, ceramics, and ice). Amorphous are solids where the atoms have no periodic structure whatsoever (eg. glass, wax, & many plastics). © Sbyrnes321.

Types of crystals

Quartz is a common crystal that is found naturally as well as created in laboratories. They have six-sided columns and vary in color. Salt is another type of crystal, it occurs naturally and gets refined for its different uses. Another example is the diamond. Snowflakes are crystals as well, they form when water freezes while falling from the sky. The shape of the crystals all depends on the chemicals it is made of.

Uses for crystals

Some crystals are melted down and when they turn into a liquid, they form a liquid crystal that is used in electronics. Your computer you are using right now will have crystal inside. Crystal is used because it can produce its own energy. They have also been used for solar technology. Crystals are also used in jewelry as some precious stones are crystals.

Halite (table salt, NaCl)Halite (table salt, NaCl). Left shows how the atomic structure looks like (green is the Chlorine ion and purple is the Sodium ion). Right shows the halite crystal. © Benjah-bmm27, Didier Descouens.

How are they made?

Crystals are formed by atoms, ions and molecules that stick together in frequent patterns. Their structure is solid and hard to break. They can forms of squares, pyramids, octagonal, and even decagons. The shape of the crystal depends on what atoms are mixed together that forms the shape.

Crystal colors

Crystals often get their color from their environment. Iron gives Amethyst its color. Aluminum silicate is what colors Topaz. The color is perceived by how the molecules and atoms absorb light. And just how do these colors occur? The color of the crystal is the color of light that reflects off the surface of the stone. For instance, if a stone appears to be red, it is because the green light is absorbed. If a stone appears to be orange then the colors of blue and green are absorbed.