Crystal

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A snow crystal is any of several types of ice crystal found in snow. A snow crystal is a single crystal, in contrast to a snowflake, which is usually an aggregate of many single snow crystals.
A snow crystal is any of several types of ice crystal found in snow. A snow crystal is a single crystal, in contrast to a snowflake, which is usually an aggregate of many single snow crystals.
The basic structure of snow formed in the atmosphere is a hexagonal crystal. A-axes growth produces a stellar crystal or “snowflake”
The basic structure of snow formed in the atmosphere is a hexagonal crystal. A-axes growth produces a stellar crystal or “snowflake
Crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituent atoms, molecules, or ions are arranged in an orderly repeating pattern extending in all three spatial dimensions. The process of crystal formation via mechanisms of crystal growth is called crystallization or solidification.
Crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituent atoms, molecules, or ions are arranged in an orderly repeating pattern extending in all three spatial dimensions. The process of crystal formation via mechanisms of crystal growth is called crystallization or solidification.

Crystal or crystalline solid is a solid material whose constituent atoms, molecules, or ions are arranged in an orderly repeating pattern extending in all three spatial dimensions. The process of crystal formation via mechanisms of crystal growth is called crystallization or solidification.

The process of forming a crystalline structure from a fluid or from materials dissolved in the fluid is often referred to as the crystallization process. In the old example referenced by the root meaning of the word crystal, water being cooled undergoes a phase change from liquid to solid beginning with small ice crystals that grow until they fuse, forming a polycrystalline structure. The physical properties of the ice depend on the size and arrangement of the individual crystals, or grains, and the same may be said of metals solidifying from a molten state.

Which crystal structure the fluid will form depends on the chemistry of the fluid, the conditions under which it is being solidified, and also on the ambient pressure. While the cooling process usually results in the generation of a crystalline material, under certain conditions, the fluid may be frozen in a noncrystalline state. In most cases, this involves cooling the fluid so rapidly that atoms cannot travel to their lattice sites before they lose mobility. A noncrystalline material, which has no long-range order, is called an amorphous, vitreous, or glassy material. It is also often referred to as an amorphous solid, although there are distinct differences between crystalline solids and amorphous solids: most notably, the process of forming a glass does not release the latent heat of fusion.

Crystalline structures occur in all classes of materials, with all types of chemical bonds. Almost all metal exists in a polycrystalline state; amorphous or single-crystal metals must be produced synthetically, often with great difficulty. Ionically bonded crystals can form upon solidification of salts, either from a molten fluid or upon crystallization from a solution. Covalently bonded crystals are also very common, notable examples being diamond, silica, and graphite. Polymer materials generally will form crystalline regions, but the lengths of the molecules usually prevent complete crystallization. Weak van der Waals forces can also play a role in a crystal structure; for example, this type of bonding loosely holds together the hexagonal-patterned sheets in graphite.

Most crystalline materials have a variety of crystallographic defects. The types and structures of these defects may have a profound effect on the properties of the materials.


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  • 1 See Wikipedia Crystal [1]

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