07-25. Gypsum #3.

We know there is gypsum on Mars. Do we know what color it is? The geometry of the crystal structure and positioning its atoms lend itself to many possibilities.



07-24. Gypsum #2.

Lovely! Gypsum not only gives us great plaster to do art – the polyhedral structure of its crystal provides us frame for a slide show!

From a resource by Comodi, Nazzareni, Zanazzi ,and Speziale.




07-23. Gypsum #1.

Wonder why this quart of plaster of Paris on the shelf at the art supply store is so often leaky?

Now you know – This is what a crystal of gypsum unit cell looks like – all tiny atoms racing to escape their frame for some reason.
Gypsum is a mineral of many trades – the fine gypsum powder was so prized by Nova Scotia, it went to war for it back in the mid-1800s. The huge, 300 sq. mi. wide sand dune of White Sand in New Mexico – it’s gypsum. The massive 36 ft long crystal in the Naica cave of Chihuahua, Mexico – it’s gypsum too. It has even been found on Mars

This amazing mineral comes as a monoclinic, prismatic structure. It is transparent but as most crystals, it acquires the color or the inclusions it gathers as it develops and grows from tiny to massive.

Alabaster, known for its transparency and soft hues is a good example of gypsum at its best – in nature and in the arts.



07-22. Agricolaite #7.

Quite a week!

From a board game to a symphony for a soliton, an atomic electrical storm and now a fractal build up, this little mineral is an endless source of inspiration!

This visualization is from the very same resource I used the first day of the week. I didn’t have any real thought plan using the same 3 resources alternately throughout the week.  Now, I’m glad I did. From a quiet dreamscape to an busy fractal-like system, Nature encapsulates a lot of information in the minuscule geometry of the agricolaite crystal.

Original resource: Anderson, Chieh, Irish and Tong.



07-21. Agricolaite #6.

A board game!

Games agricolaites play: how do you extract the center atom without breaking any line? A possible answer – bring in more atoms like in the right-side structure?

I also inserted a new element – the “free” atom is actually a picture of planet Europa I found on RobertLovesPI blog page. Great picture! Now the new symbolic could be – when nano-scale agricolaite atoms break free, they reconstitute as a full-size planet in the sky. Quite a poetic journey indeed!



07-20. Agricolaite #5.

I’m not sure why – I had to introduce a soliton in this image. Nothing to do with the Agricolaite geometry, but somewhere the mirrored triangles & spheres remind me of this strange self-contained mathematical sound wave. A musical mineral? Why not!



07-19. Agricolaite #4.

“Bohemian pachinko” – study for a virtual 3D gallery exhibit piece.

From a resource by Anderson, Chieh, Irish and Tong. Incidentally, I used the same resource template I used on 07/16. Two versions of the same info with a 3-days hiatus.




07-18. Agricolaite #3.

What to do with so many atoms flying at your screen? Let them be I guess.

I noticed it before – the smaller the crystal, the more atoms in its structure. And of course like in every overpacked structure, it creates a stressed-out geometry and a huge array of vertices crisscrossing and overlapping each other. Hard to make sense of it all.

From a resource by Skala, Ondrus, Veselovsky, Cisarova, and Hlousek.