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What is a Crystal?

Crystals are solids that form by a regular repeated pattern of molecules connecting together. In some solids, the arrangements of the building blocks (atoms and molecules) can be random or very different throughout the material. In crystals, however, a collections of atoms called the Unit Cell is repeated in exactly the same arrangement over and over throughout the entire material.

 

 

Because of this repetitive nature, crystals can take on strange and interesting looking forms, naturally. When we grow crystals we are separating all the building block molecules into individual units in water and letting them fall naturally into their appropriate place in the repetitive structure as the water evaporates.

Through these pages you can learn what types of crystals there are, why different crystals have different shapes and sizes,  find out how light affects the color of a crystal and how crystals form and how they grow. Making Crystal Gardens is fun and rewarding, so we've left you a few ideas along with other Crystal growing recipes you can try - such as growing Crystals on a String - that with a little patience and imagination you could suspend from the ceiling as a mobile!

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