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10: Crystal Morphology and Symmetry

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    Figure 10.1: Spectacular blue barite crystals up to 50 mm tall. From the Huanuco Department, Peru.


    • The external symmetry of a crystal is the geometrical relationship between its faces and edges.
    • Crystal symmetry is a reflection of internal atomic arrangement and symmetry.
    • If a crystal has symmetry, the symmetry is common to all of its properties.
    • By studying crystal symmetry, we can make inferences about internal atomic order.
    • Crystals may have any of an infinite number of shapes, but the number of possible symmetries is limited.
    • Crystal symmetry is the basis for dividing crystals into different groups and classes.

    This page titled 10: Crystal Morphology and Symmetry is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Dexter Perkins via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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