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Crystals and Crystal Growing (MIT Press) Paperback – August 17, 1982

4.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

'This work is a fascinating discussion of the strange ways in which solids form, an excellent hobby book describing ways of growing crystals, and a lucid, penetrating introduction to solid state physics. It can be read on any of these levels, or ideally, on all...[the book] should prove a delight to all readers.'--Science

Review

An excellent introduction to crystallography (and, incidentally, to much basic physics) written in plain language, this is the obvious book to turn 'rock hounds' (adult or teenaged) to a fuller understanding of the background of their hobby and to a greater enjoyment of an amateur interest in geology. The text is supplemented by descriptions of simple (and cheap!) experiments and suggestions for additional reading.

(Library Journal)

This work is a 'fascinating discussion of the strange ways in which solids form, an excellent hobby book describing ways of growing crystals, and a lucid, penetrating introduction to solid state physics. It can be read on any of these levels; or ideally, on all...[the book] should prove a delight to all readers.

(Science)
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Product Details

  • Series: MIT Press
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; 1st MIT edition (August 17, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262580500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262580502
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #406,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I first used this book in 1963 as a tutorial on crystal growing
methods. Not only did it provide step-by-step instructions that
actually worked, but it explained the physics of crystals and the process of crystallization in language that a high school student could easily understand. I used various salts to grow exquisite
crystals of different colors, obtaining most of my materials from local sources and my chemistry teacher. My experiments were performed in a depression under our house ... with a dirt floor. this was my "chemistry laboratory." The evaporation method produced cloudy crystals, so I reverted to the supersaturated technique to produce perfect specimens. My heating mantle consisted of a coffee can with a hole cut in it to insert a light bulb. This worked very well. Over the years I have frequently referred to this book and recommended it to others. I still do so. It is worth its weight in gold.
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By A Customer on August 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
I've had this book for well over 20 years, and every couple of years I get it back out, re-read it and try a few new experiments. This book would be good for a child (with supervision) who is interested in cause-and-effects relations of science. Some simple crystal experiments may be carried out in hours, some take longer.
Even an old engineer still enjoys this book!
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Format: Paperback
This is a nice little book that tells how to grow some crystals from water solutions, and also provides an elementary introduction to crystallography.

The book covers basic chemistry of crystals, their symmetry, the six classes of crystals, as well as some interesting topics like piezoelectricity and birefringence (splitting light by polarization to give two images) that occur in some crystals. One learns some things that would be covered in an introduction to mineralogy or physical metallurgy (for example, it explains what a "stacking fault" is).

It is written at the level of a secondary school student, but this should not discourage other readers. The book is easy to read and well illustrated with simple diagrams and very little math is used. One often has to pause, however, to visualize what the authors are describing. (But it is helpful that they make heavy use of diagrams of hypothetical two-dimensional crystals before moving on to the actual three-dimensional ones.) There are also some good suggestions for further reading.

A drawback might be the difficulty today of obtaining some of the chemicals used to grow the crystals described.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased my first copy of this when I was a teenager, and I've never seen such a thorough treatment of crystals and crystal growing since. I was happy to find this to replace the one I lost.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I doubt anything will ever replace this book as the best introduction to crystal growing. Given that it can be purchased for the cost of postage makes it even better.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great resource for educational purposes, but the edition that I recieved was older than the one pictured. Will report back when I try some of the crystal recipes for myself.
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