Rare, ‘rule-breaking’ quasicrystal found in ‘fossilized’ piece of lightning

Rare, ‘rule-breaking’ quasicrystal found in ‘fossilized’ piece of lightning

Rare, ‘rule-breaking’ quasicrystal found in ‘fossilized’ piece of lightning

A tube of “fossilized lightning” from the Sandhills of Nebraska contains a rare type of quasicrystal that had previously only been found in meteorites and at atomic bomb test sites.

Quasicrystals are materials that break the traditional rules of crystallography. Before they were first reported in 1984, scientists believed that materials could be either crystalline – with symmetrical, repeating patterns – or amorphous – meaning randomly arranged and disordered. Moreover, scientists believed that crystals could only be symmetrical a limited number of times when rotated around an axis – two, three, four or six times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *