Chapter 1

Unit 1.1 – Crystals and Structures – Powers of Ten

Slides Unit 1.1

Transcript of Unit 1.1

Further material/links:

NAICA Project web site
The NAICA Crystal cave is located 300 meters below ground. filled with enormous, spectacular selenite or moonstone crystals, it reveals its beauty in an atmosphere where the its icy appearance constrasts with the high temperatures in the depths. through the magnificence of its crystals, it leads us down a myriad of paths: scientific, technological, artistic, philosophical and one involving the magic of nature. it also brings us face to face with an unavoidable responsibility: our obligation to protect and preserve it.

A rare glimpse of the cave of crystals (BBC News)
Mexico’s Cave of Crystals stunned geologists when it was first discovered in 2000. The underground chamber contains some of the largest natural crystals ever found – some of the selenite structures have grown to more than 10m long. Professor Iain Stewart got a rare glimpse of the subterranean spectacle while filming for the new BBC series “How the Earth Made Us.”

Fermín Otálora and JuanMa García-Ruiz: Nucleation and growth of the Naica giant gypsum crystals
(Subscription required)
The Cave of Giant Crystals in the Naica mine (Mexico) is one of the most amazing displays of mineral beauty ever created in nature. In addition to the colossal crystals of gypsum, which in some cases exceed eleven meters in length and one meter in thickness, the scenery fashioned by the crystalline beams that thrust through the darkness of the cave from floor to ceiling with a luster like moonlight is a unique example of harmony based on crystal symmetry. We review the crystallogenesis of this remarkable and challenging phenomenon of mineralization near equilibrium that can be used to teach the basics of nucleation and crystal growth.

Tobias Zick: Höhlenforschung: In der Kammer der Kristallriesen (GEO, in German)
Tief unter der Wüste Chihuahua in Mexiko erforschen italienische Geologen die Geheimnisse eines einzigartigen Höhlensystems: Kolossale Säulen aus Selenit sind hier zu Labyrinthen verwachsen, die einer Fantasiewelt angehören könnten. Sie zu erkunden, birgt Lebensgefahr: Denn die Luft in den Höhlen des Minenorts Naica ist schwer wie Dampf – und so heiß, dass die Wissenschaftler sie nur für kurze Zeit ertragen können.

Charles and Ray Eames: Powers of Ten (1977)
The original short film “The Powers of Ten”

Unit 1.2a – Crystallographic Poetry

Slides Unit 1.2a

Transcript of Unit 1.2a

Crystallographic Poetry (PDF)

Unit 1.2b – Systematization

Slides Unit 1.2b

Transcript of Unit 1.2b

Further material/links:

Christian Bök: Crystallography
See the publishers website for an excerpt of the book as a pdf.
Christian Bök, Crystallography
Coach House Books
160 pp, Paperback, ISBN-13: 9781552451199

Unit 1.3 – Definition of Crystals and Anisotropy

Slides Unit 1.3

Transcript of Unit 1.3

Further material/links:

Amir Chossrow Akhavan: The Quartz Page
… a website about the mineral quartz.
Its purpose is to share information on locations, properties and formation of all forms of quartz. This is an on-going and still unfinished project. It will continue to grow, and more sections will be added in the future.


Unit 1.4 – The Correspondence Principle (I)

Slides Unit 1.4

Transcript of Unit 1.4

Further material/links:

Dr. Krešimir Molčanov and Dr. Vladimir Stilinović: Chemical Crystallography before X-ray Diffraction
(subscription required)
2012/2013 mark the 100th anniversary of von Laue’s diffraction of X-rays from single crystals of copper sulfate, the postulation of Bragg’s law, and the solution of the first X-ray structure. However, even before 1912, the study of crystals was an integral part of chemistry and it played a major role in development of modern chemical science, including key concepts such as atoms, molecules, isomerism, and chirality.

Henk Kubbinga: Crystallography from Haüy to Laue: controversies on the molecular and atomistic nature of solids
(open access)
The history of crystallography has been assessed in the context of the emergence and spread of the molecular theory. The present paper focuses on the 19th century, which saw the emancipation of crystallography as a science sui generis.
Around 1800, Laplace’s molecularism called the tune in the various sciences
(physics, chemistry, biology, crystallography). In crystallography, two schools
opposed each other: that of Weiss, in Berlin, and that of Haüy, in Paris.
Symmetry proved essential. It will be shown how the lattice theory arose in an essentially molecular framework and how group theory imposed itself. The salt hydrates suggested the idea of (two or more) superimposed molecular lattices. Gradually it became clear that an ultimate lattice theory ought to be atomic. The experiments of Laue, Friedrich and Knipping confirmed that atomic basis.

Unit 1.5 – The Correspondence Principle (II)

Slides Unit 1.5

Transcript of Unit 1.5

Further material/links:
All about snowflakes. Ice phenomena are explained and countless pictures of very pretty snowflakes. A great resource for the science of snow and ice.

MPG Research News: The smallest ice crystals in the world
A popular science article about the search for the smallest snowflake.

Christoph C. Pradzynski et al.: A Fully Size-Resolved Perspective on the Crystallization of Water Clusters
(subscription required)
This is the original research paper that has been published in Science.
Due to copyrights we cannot provide a pdf here. Please check if your local library provides access to this journal.

Unit 1.6 – The Formation of Snowflakes

No slides

Transcript of Unit 1.6

Further material/links:

The 3D structure of Ice (interactive)

Unit 1.7 – The Concept of the Unit Cell

Slides Unit 1.7

Transcript of Unit 1.7

Unit 1.8 – The Seven Crystal Systems

Slides Unit 1.8

Transcript of Unit 1.8

Unit 1.9 – Crystal = Lattice + Motif

Slides Unit 1.9

Transcript of Unit 1.9