How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works

Question 957

Do crystals "grow"? — JJ
Yes, crystals grow. They begin as tiny seed crystals when a few atoms or molecules manage to arrange themselves accidentally in an orderly fashion. From that point on, new atoms or molecules that join the seed continue the orderly pattern and the crystal grows. Some crystals grow from solutions that contain more of particular atoms or molecules than those solutions can handle. Other crystals grow from molten materials that are cooling off and beginning to freeze. Still other crystals form from atoms or molecules that are diffusing randomly through solids, liquids, or even gases and encounter the proper crystal on which to stick.

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