English: Organization of molecules in crystalline and amorphous matter. Français : Organisation des molécules dans la matière cristalline et amorphe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You remember when I said in my last post that glass is the same thing as quartz sand, just in non crystalline form? I also said that I would be writing a post on crystallization, so here you go:
Crystallizaton is the form of atoms in a regular, uniform pattern. Let’s take salt as an example (you know all about salt from my previous posts). Through the chlorine and sodium atoms exchange atoms, become Ions and bond to each other, becoming salt. Then other salt molecules (a molecule is a or a number of atoms that are bonded together to form a substance. For example, a cup of water may contain billions of atoms, but it is two hydrogen and one oxygen that bond to form the minimum amount of water possible, before it is just a couple of atoms) bond onto them.
Why would salt molecules bond onto other salt molecules? We have a positively charged sodium attracted onto a negatively charged chlorine, so they would be hovering around each other, an imaginary “stick” linking them together (let’s call this molecule A). Then, another salt molecule comes near (B), and the positive sodium in B is attracted to the negative chlorine in A, and they hook together, along with the chlorine in B and the sodium in A (hope I haven’t lost you). This continues in an ordered structure, as you can see in the first diagram. This is a crystal.
The molecules in glass hook on to each other as well, but not in an ordered way, so its atomic structure would look like a bunch of atoms grouped in a random way. This is what defines a crystal versus non-crystal.