How to Culture Crystals
To use chemical reactions between water and potash alum in the creation of various crystal formations.
Crystals consist of an orderly arrangement in the molecular structure of a solid object, in a pattern known as crystallinity.
Crystals can be man-made by heating water with a chemical known as potash alum. Many geometrical shapes can be created through this process, such as cubic, hexagonal, tetragonal crystals.
Important notice: parental or teacher guidance required at all times.
When Rochelle salt (Potassium sodium tartrate )mixture is Supersaturated , the atoms will form patterns of crystals.
- Quantity of Rochelle salt.
- Oven top
- Pot holder
- Scale (grams)
- Small drinking glass
- Medium size jars with tight lids
- Distilled water
- Rochelle Salt
- Pour water into pot. Into the clean jar, pour 100cc of distilled water.
- Place the jar into the pot of water.
- Heat the pot then measure with a thermometer until the water in the jar reaches 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Slowly pour 120 grams of Rochelle salt into the glass jar.
- Stir with the spoon until the Rochelle salt dissolves. Use pot holder to remove the glass jar from the pot.
- Put the lid tightly on the glass jar.Record your observations.
- Allow the mixture in the jar to reach room temperature. Then add more Rochelle salt grains into the mixture. Close the lid again and shake well. Record your observations.
- Shake the jar twice a day for the next two days. Check the size of the additional Rochelle salt grains. Did they increase in size? Record your observations.
- Remove the lid and pour about an ounce of the contents in the glass jar into another smaller glass cup.
- Leave for 24 hours.
You should begin to notice the growth process of tiny crystals inside the small glass cup. Remove fragments of crystals using the tweezers. Place them on a paper towel and allow to dry.
The crystals will continue to increase in size within the glass cup. Count the number of crystals you can create. What shapes are they? Record your results.
Summary of Results:
Crystals grow from supersaturated solutions. Crystals rely on their nourishment from outside material. When the atoms of the mixture reach the surface they form in an orderly pattern. This orderly patterned is referred to as a crystal.