10-01

10-01. Rutile #1.

Rutile, strange and mysterious as an African mask.It will be the mineral of week #40 of this short tour of the geometry of Nature. Rutile can be found on the African continent from Sierra Leone to South Africa as well as in Europe Australia and America. Rutile has among the highest refractive indices of any known crystal. What makes it unique is that it often develops in other crystals and make them more valuable in the process creating asterism or cat eye like effect in sapphire, topaz, and rubies.

Considering its size and shape, its structure is quite complex – a tetragonal unit cell where the titanium cations have a coordination number of 6 and are surrounded by an octahedron of 6 oxygen atoms. Maybe that’s what guided me to do the background of this visualization as a pattern of a rutile’s binding between its various atoms. Impressive and inspiring symmetry! The central object itself is a recursive progression of a rutile unit cell polyhedra & atoms.

One last thing about this mineral, nano-size rutile particles are used in sunscreen lotions and because of their optical properties are very effective at absorbing the sun UV radiation. Summer is gone in one part of the world but it’s just starting in another!

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09-16

09-16 Chiolite #7.

What an intriguing and inspirational little mineral! All I could do was to go back to this perfect octahedron hiding in the midst of a cluster of atoms. Maybe it’ll take another few 1000 years, but this mineral is on its way to producing a beautiful crystal someday09-16!

09-15

09-15 – Chiolite #6.

This mineral’s geometry is so unusual and complex in graphic terms, I decided to go and visit the place where chiolite was first identified. The background is a Google Earth street view of the Ilmen mountains, a mineralogical reserve near the town of Miass, in southern Russia. This view was taken from one of the frozen lakes nearby at 3:34 am. 55°00’50.15″ N  60°10’24.67″ E

The octahedron that constitutes the core of the crystal fits well against the starry sky. So does Orion in the background – a good reminder of the chiolite challenging geometry.

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09-13

09-13 – Chiolite #4.

There has to be a way out – but I didn’t find it. I just got lost in a chiolite crystal’s tessellation pattern.

Sometimes it’s just as good to let the geometry take over than fight to make sense of odd and confusing shapes. Maybe I’ll revisit it someday and understand better what happened.

From a generic resource made of 157 atoms, 222 bonds, and 35 polyhedra.

09-13

09-12

09-12 – Chiolite #3.

Humor or surrealism – the geometry of Nature sometimes lends itself to strange visualization: this could be the original octahedra factory – chiolite creates octahedra, collect them in its structured drawer/cubes and delivers them to the world as beautiful geometry figures.

Of course, this is not true – but the geometry of this chiolite carries some disconcerting and beautiful mathematical poetry.

From a resource by Jacoboni, Leble, and Rousseau

09-12

 

09-11

09-11. Chiolite #2.

The structure of this crystal of chiolite takes on the look of an ethnic folk dance performance on a stage somewhere in the Ural mountains. Busy mineral indeed!

From a resource by Jacoboni, Leble, and Rousseau

09-11

09-10

09-10. Chiolite #1.

Some say it’s a useless mineral. The industry has not found yet a way to exploit it; Gemologists finds it too difficult to cut. Maybe art can redeem chiolite, this tiny, rare, snow-like mineral first identified in the Ilmen Mountains, Russia in 1846.

It belongs to the tetragonal group and is of symmetry P 4/mnc. The VESTA 3D model shows some beautifully well-formed octahedra for such a small crystal – almost like little gems within its crystal structure.

Chiolite will be the mineral of week 37 of this short tour of the Geometry of Nature. Maybe it will reveal some other hidden surprises art and art lovers can be inspired from.

09-10