09-24. Atheneite #1.

The making of a moiré!

23 atoms, 0 bonds, 0 polyhedra – that’s all this little crystal of Atheneite study of L. Bindi from Florence U. has to offer for week #39 of this short tour of Geometry of Nature.

Atheneite is a rare mineral associated with palladium-gold deposits. It is so small, it was only first identified in Brazil in 1972. Today, tiny samples can be seen at the Natural History Museum in London.

Atheneite is named after the Greek goddess Pallas Athena, not because it could use all the protection and safety the goddess is supposed to bring, but because of its palladium content. Its structure is hexagonal and its symmetry belongs to the group P6.

In this visualization, I enlarged some of the atoms wireframe to create a moiré effect. I left the beautiful symmetrical display untouched and put the whole over a marble-like pixelated background and a fractal frame.

Interesting coincidence, in 1993, David Bowie wrote a song called Pallas Athena, a short sequence of superposed word & sounds in a very dark, bluish-purple-gray environment – the color of the mineral itself. The story doesn’t say if he was inspired by the Atheineite crystal.



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