|Does light have any effect on how much a crystal
|Question Date: 2017-02-25|
For the most part, no. Crystal growth is not
dependent on the amount of light it gets.
They’re more dependent on things like
temperature and the amount of liquid
available. They can have an effect, though, in
very specific crystal situations. For example,
crystals of silver bromide and silver iodide break
down into silver metal when they’re exposed to
light. Most crystals though form both at the
surface and deep within the earth. A lot of them
form in the area around volcanoes!
I am not quite sure what aspect you are asking on
the effect of the light upon the crystal growth,
as it is unclear to me the way of crystal growth
you are talking about and how the light is shed
during the crystal growth. There are many ways
to grow the crystals with or without light. As
a matter fact, there is a good way to get large
single crystals using the focused light in the
optical mirror furnace. This is a widely used
way to obtain the large single crystals in the
physics community, not involving too much
chemistry. In such way, the focused light plays
the key role.
To me, depending on the process of crystal
growth and how the light is used, it will or will
not play a role in the crystal growth. Certainly,
if the light is applied effectively, it will
promote the crystal growth.
Depends on the crystal. Light tends to break
chemical bonds. If those chemical bonds are
holding back atoms that would otherwise be part of
the crystal, then the light will free them and let
the crystal grow. If the light breaks up the bonds
holding the crystal together, then the crystal
will dissolve. Different colors of light break
different kinds of chemical bonds, so it depends
on what the material is made of.
For most cases you will come across, light
will not affect how much the crystal grows.
This is because the forces responsible for the
position of atoms are very strong, whereas the
effect of visible light tends to be much weaker.
This is not always the case. For example,
you know that some materials decompose when
exposed to light, so you can imagine quite easily
that in this case this would interfere with the
growth of the crystal. Additionally, you also know
that light can heat things, so you can imagine
some extreme situations where you have such
intense light that you melt the materials.
However, this can be a good thing, and this is
actually how we grow really large crystals for
ceramics and other materials that melt at really
hot temperatures. We can take a big rod of powder
that's been squeezed together, and heat it up
using several really bright lightbulbs and mirrors
to direct all the light to a small area, which
then melts the powder and causes it to
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