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Thread: Crystals in Minerals

  1. #1 Crystals in Minerals 
    Forum Sophomore
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    1) How many sides do crystals of each of the 6 major crystal systems have?

    I am really puzzled when by this question, since I can see two completely different shapes on the above 2 diagrams that I obtained from 2 different sources. For example, orthorthombic system on the top only has 6 sides while the bottom one has 14 sides (I think). Which one is right?

    2) How would you use crystal structure to tell a crystal of pyrite from a crystal of gypsum?
    The problem is I do not know whether "crystal structure" and "crystal system" are the same thing...I searched google definitions but I don't get what they mean
    If so, the answer is simple -- cubic for pyrite and monoclinic for gypsum

    3) I have learned that most crystals are restricted by its surroundings so large crystals usually can't grow. But do minerals still tend to appear in one of the 6 well-defined shapes? I mean, will they still develop into these nice, well-defined shapes?

    Does anyone know??

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