The brief summary is that Calcite is a
crystal. This means that it is a solid that
has an ordered structure of its atoms (like sugar
crystals or diamonds) as opposed to "amorphous"
"unstructured" or disorganized substances. Here's
a good picture showing the order (quartz crystal)
vs. disorder (amorphous glass) of molecules in
So, Calcite is a crystal. It forms from the
amorphous unstructured substance calcium
carbonate. This amorphous calcium carbonate is
called "ACC." ACC crystallizes into a substance
called vaterite very quickly. When vaterite
is present in water it dissolves and re-forms as
Calcite. Calcite is more stable than
vaterite so once it becomes Calcite it stops
changing. The details of this are fairly
complicated, but essentially this is the end of
the line: ACC --> Vaterite --> Calcite.
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