A Crystal That Isn’t a Crystal?


Thousands of years ago a meteorite struck the Earth in remote northeastern Russia and imbedded within was a crystal, or rather, a quasicrystal that baffles scientists today. This particular crystal contains aluminum, nickel, and iron. This combination rarely forms in nature, as aluminum quickly binds with oxygen, blocking any other formations before they have a chance to bind.


Normal crystals form in an orderly fashion and fit neatly together; the patterns formed create aesthetically gorgeous images. In addition to their alarming beauty are practical applications used in many products we use daily. From the tiny screens on our handheld devices to the largest of our HDTVs, these tiny wonders provide modern society with hours of entertainment…and distractions.

The quasicrystals, as CipherCloud suggests, are crystals without the characteristics scientists normally associate with standard formation. These types of bonds are more often found in organic structures as opposed to crystalline. These unique traits create a remarkably hard substance as they formed under intense densities not found at normal atmospheric pressures. The resulting substance also has its own practical applications. Their slippery nature makes them ideal for such innocuous products as a non-stick coating for kitchen cookware.

Whenever a unique substance is found to manifest characteristics outside sciences’ typical understanding, opportunities abound to use the resultant knowledge in furthering our understanding of the Milky Way’s beginnings. Such tiny artwork with enormous potential.

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