How Do Crystals Grow?
ES0506  Crystal Growth Animations

Crystals of all kinds exhibit regular patterns in their shapes. A small version of a crystal has the same shape as a large crystal of the same substance. Until they run out of space or materials to continue growing, crystals retain a constant shape.

  !   Click each image to see the animations. Use the movie controls to step through the animations several times. Watch for similarities and differences in how each type of crystal grows.

Bryan Aivazian, TERC
Crystals of salt growing in an evaporating solution of salt water under a classroom microscope.
IBM Research
Crystals of pentacene, an organic molecule, grown on silicon, imaged by photoelectron emission microscopy.

3. Describe similarities shared by all crystals as they grow.

4. Describe ways in which the growth of each of the crystals is different.


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