Brother John’s

February 17, 2008

Growing Crystals

Filed under: Crystals,Projects — Brother John @ 3:05 am
Tags: , , ,

While I’m working on a draft that will talk about my cancer story, I thought I’d give you something to read. I give you… “Fun with Crystals”.

From my “Growing Crystals” experiments.

I’ve recently developed an interest in growing crystals. I felt the best way to do this would be to start with growing sugar crystals because I already had everything I needed.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I’m the curious type. I’m always wondering about how things work and why they do the things they do. One morning I woke up and discovered I was suddenly curious about crystal formation. I wanted to try my hand at growing them.

The image on the left is after one day’s growth and I’d expect larger crystals to grow given time.

The trick to creating crystals is a super saturated sugar/water solution containing higher concentrations of dissolved sugar than water. The exact ratio is an important factor for success. As water evaporates from the super saturated solution, the concentration of sugar to water will naturally increase. Some sugar molecules will have to come out of suspension (fall out) and will return to a solid particle form. This should happen slowly.

As particles continue to “fall out” of suspension, they will be attracted to one another and may even attach. If enough of them stack up in layers, they will form a kind of”protocrystal” or “pre-crystal”. As more particles fall out they will be strongly attracted to the protocrystal and will attach to it. This is how crystals grow. NEW…

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