Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Quasicrystals likely came through Meteorites

[ via BBC News ] 3Jan

Examples of a crystal previously thought to be impossible in nature may have come from space, a study shows.
Quasicrystals have an unusual structure - in between those of crystals and glasses.
Until two years ago, quasicrystals had only been created in the lab - then geologists found them in rocks from Russia's Koryak mountains.
In PNAS journal, a team says the chemistry of the Russian crystals suggests they arrived in meteorites.

Quasicrystals were first described in the 1980s by Israeli researcher Daniel Schechtman, who was awarded last year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery. Schechtman's ideas were initially treated with doubt or scorn by some of his peers, who thought the structures were "impossible".


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