In crystallography, the crystal structure is how the atoms (or ions or molecules) are arranged in a crystalline material. Crystals occur naturally from the way the chemical bonds of the atoms connect. Symmetric repeating patterns occur in 3-D space in the crystal.
The crystal structure and symmetry cause many physical properties, such as cleavage (how the crystal splits) how it conducts electricity, and its optical properties..
The crystal structure of a chemical is the shape of the crystal at the molecular level. There are several shapes of crystals. Sodium chloride is a cube. Copper sulfate is triclinic. Most things, even metals, have crystal structures. Some crystals fit more atoms in them than others, and these crystals usually weigh more.
References[change | change source]
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- Hook, J.R.; Hall, H.E. (2010). Solid State Physics. Manchester Physics Series (2nd ed.). John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9780471928041.