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

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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

10-30

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

10-29

10-29. Graphite #1.

Graphite – not sexy, but very timely to celebrate Halloween and the Day of the Dead. German mineralogist Abraham Gottlob Werner gave it its name in 1789 after the ancient Greek word for write – or draw.

Graphite is the choice mineral of designers and draughtsmen. More than a million tons of graphite were extracted in the world in 2016. Around 7% of the 1.1 million tonnes produced in 2011 was used to make pencils. Quite an interesting fact in the age of text-messaging!

Graphite is the most stable form of carbon and has a unique layered, planar structure. The individual layers are called graphene. In each layer, the carbon atoms are arranged in a honeycomb lattice. Its system is hexagonal and its symmetry P6.

In the 4th millennium B.C., during the Neolithic Age, the Mariţa culture in southeastern Europe, already used graphite to decorate pottery. It has been used ever since to produce wonderful art on clay, paper, textile, and all material that support and fix graphite.

10-29