12-05

12-05. Hematite #3.

When art meets science: a hematite crystal transformation by real-time synchrotron powder diffraction.

From a resource by  A. Gualtieri and P. Venturelli.

12-05

12-03

12-03. Hematite #1.

Hematite, the rock our ancestor used to draw on cave walls, will be the mineral for week #49. 

Hematite is one of the most abundant minerals on Earth – and on Mars too. Apparently, that’s where the planet’s red color comes from. It is a tight, atom packed crystal that has the shape of a hexagon or a scalenohedron – a six-sided polyhedron. It belongs to the trigonal family system and its symmetry is R3c.

It has been used extensively in intaglio engraved gems from Greek and Roman to Victorian times. Renaissance oil canvas painters made great use of it in its powder form because it’s opaque, stable and permanent. Mixed with white it creates a large array of pinkish to light brown colors found in many portraitures of the time.

From a resource by R. Blake, R. Hessevick, T. Zoltai, and L. Finger – a Hematite crystal unit cell from Elba, Italy.

12-03

11-04

11-04. Graphite#7.

Op-art graphite.

All I had to work with for this visualization was a two carbon atoms cell.
And then the strange symmetrical beauty of the crystal took over….

from a resource by Lipson H, Stokes A R

11-04

11-03

11-03. Graphite#6.

Ver timely. I was tempted to use this visualization as a mask for Halloween! A very unexpected arrangement of a graphite crystal made of 36 atoms, 36 bonds, 12 polyhedra.

From a resource by O. Hassel

11-03

11-02

11-02. Graphite#5.

What went wrong?

How comes such beautiful crystal, such pleasant and well-balanced symmetry can turn into such an unappealing mineral. In my 52 weeks journey, this is the first mineral I feel sorry for. I guess Nature has its way of doing things that are sometimes incomprehensible to us. I still like the shape of its crystal though!

From a resource by Trucano & Chen.

11-02

11-01

11-01. Graphite#4.

I’m struggling with the concepts of aesthetic, beauty and symmetry!

Here is a crystal with an elegant design, a well-balanced symmetry, a rational and solid positioning of the atoms within the structure – and yet the outcome is a dull grey little powder that barely reflects light or color.

Could it be that mathematical beauty exists in an abstract world we created for ourselves and that Nature shows us differently? Graphite could be a good example of this dichotomy.

The question then is how do we reconcile our idea of beauty with what’s the real world is made of – and find a meaningful aesthetic outcome in doing so?

11-01

10-31

10-31. Graphite#3.

Graphite is definitively the material of architects, draughtsmen, and artists. I wonder how they found each other.

This visualization of a graphite crystal unit is made of 3358 atoms, 0 bonds, 0 polyhedra.

From a resource by J. Favos

10-31

10-30

10-30. Graphite#2.

The graphite crystal has such an elegant minimal symmetry, it brings to mind mathematician Sierpinski fractal visualization, in particular, the triangle series called the Sierpinski gasket.

From a resource by R. Wyckoff.

10-30