Crystals are solids that have repeated patterns of molecules in their structure. Many of the objects we use today are crystals such as sugar and salt. The process of forming crystals is known as crystallization. The basis of crystal formation is related to the idea of solubility. Solubility can be defined as the ability of a substance to be dissolved in a liquid. The solvent is known as the liquid which is dissolving the substance. The solute is the substance that is being dissolved. When there is too much substance in a certain amount of liquid, crystals form. This is also known as oversaturation. A common example of this can be seen in the science experiment using borax and water. In this case, borax is the solute and water is the solvent. If too much borax is dissolved in water, or the water is oversaturated with the borax, then crystals form because the water exceeds its capacity to hold that substance. As the water slowly evaporates, you will be able to see that borax crystals form in the water. Crystal formation is also dependent on many factors. When the liquid is warmer, it is able to dissolve more substance and creates larger crystals. When the liquid is cooler, it dissolves less substance, and smaller crystals form. In addition, if the dissolved mixture of liquid and substance is kept in a room-temperature area, then the crystals will form more slowly. On the other hand, if the dissolved mixture of liquid and substance is kept in a cold area, then the crystals form quickly. However, crystals that form too quickly in cold areas tend to have more impurities. This means that these crystals will not have a perfect pattern. Instead, there will be areas where the crystal seems to be mismatched. Crystals are extremely unique because of the atoms and molecules that they are made up of. These atoms and molecules can cause crystals to come in various shapes like triangles, squares, and
rectangles. All of these factors create the various types of crystals we see in nature and our daily lives.
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