Name: Chris W.
What is a crystalline solid?
Crystalline solids are a class of solids that have regular or nearly regular crystalline
structures. This means that the atoms in these solids are arranged in an orderly manner.
Examples of crystalline solids are sugar, sugar candy, or rock candy.
Sugar powder (which is solid but is not considered crystalline) consists of small invisible
grains which can be heated up and converted to visible sugar crystal (common sugar) or to
larger rock candy crystals. The crystalline nature of rock candy makes it transparent whereas
power sugar from which it was made and has the same sugar molecules is opaque.
Dr. Ali Khounsary
Argonne National Laboratory
Solid is the state of matter where the forming particles( atoms, molecules or ions) are
arranged so closely that make it virtually incompressible. In many solids, the particles are
arranged in regular, systematic patterns. When this happen the solids are
said to be in crystalline state, or be a crystalline solid. Their structure, that is
characteristic of the substance is called crystal structure, formed by a regular repetitive
crystal lattice. A crystal lattice can be described in terms of small repeating
tri-dimensional segments called unit cells. The sequence of these unit cells into space
results in plane faces and definite angles between the faces. Such characteristics begin in
molecular dimensions and repeat accordingly as the crystal grows up to
macroscopic sizes. Good common examples are crystals of sodium chloride (table salt), quartz,
diamond. Other solids that do not present that regularity (called symmetry) are the amorphous
Thanks for asking NEWTON!
(Dr. Mabel Rodrigues)
Crystallinity implies that the sub-units that make up the crystal are arranged in a regular,
repeating array within the lattice rather than being fixed in chaotic, random, disoriented
locations. Though glass is a solid, it is not crystalline because the silica units are not
boned to each other in a regular, uniform, repeatable array.
Very simply, it is a solid with a crystal form. This is usually part of the definition of
"mineral." In a mineral, atoms bond together in certain ways, and the arrangement of atoms
usually results in a crystal (a crystalline solid). Often, the crystal has a regular, easily
recognized shape, such as a cube in halite (table salt). Sodium and chlorine arrange
themselves in a cubic form and that is reflected in the outward appearance (it is not always
true that the outward appearance reflects the internal chemistry). Sometimes
the crystalline form is irregular and you cannot easily see the shape.
Mineralogists are geologists who study minerals, their atomic arrangements, crystalline
structures and shapes.
A crystalline solid is one in which the atoms and/or molecules are present and oriented in a
repeating translational unit referred to as the "unit cell". This can be determined by the
diffraction of x-rays which are scattered off the repeating sets of atoms in a fashion
analogous to how light is scattered by a grating (e.g. look at a CD at a low angle and see
the various colors of the rainbow). From the pattern of scattered x-rays it is possible to
determine the structure of molecules in the crystal.
A crystalline solid is a material that has a definite orderly array of atoms, ions, or
molecules, as would a pyramid of oranges or cannon-balls. The orderly arrangement of
particles in a crystal is called a crystal lattice. Sand, salt, sugar, diamond, and
graphite are examples of some common crystalline materials. Each crystalline material
has a unique melting temperature. (Taken from Microsoft Encarta DVD 2004). I hope that
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Update: June 2012