What is a Crystal?
A crystal is a mineral that is a geometric solid and grows into specific shapes in a repeating pattern. No two crystals are the same. The outside shape of the crystal is smooth and symmetrically arranged which reflects the internal arrangement of the atoms it contains. The word crystal comes from the Greek word “krystallos” meaning clear ice as it was thought to be an especially solid form of water. The word once referred mostly to quartz or “rock crystals.”
Many types of crystals are found in nature. The shape of crystals which bring well-defined and often pleasing geometric shapes, are dependent on the conditions under which they are formed. Snowflakes, diamonds and table salt or halite are common examples of crystals.
Minerals usually crystalize into one of seven crystal patterns. The angles at which the axes intersect and the degree of symmetry shows which system they are in.
Read more about Crystals in today’s Science Fun!
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