Stukenberg Geology Museum of Kazan State University
  About the Museum Collections History Exhibition Halls Persons   For Visitors       The site map       Email  

of crystals and their synthetic analogues.

This collection is a separate crystallographic section of the KSU Geology Museum. Exhibits of this collection are grouped according to the crystals' symmetry.

One should mention that crystallography became an independent science in the XVIII century. At present crystallography covers all the aspects connected with crystals, such as form, size, inner structure and chemical composition of crystals, as well as their formation in nature and in laboratories.

A basic term of this subject is "crystal", a hard body, which is formed in nature or in laboratory in the shape of polyhedrons. Natural inner disposition of crystal-forming elements provides geometrically rectilinear form of crystals.

Alongside natural crystals of minerals the Mineralogy Section of the KSU Geology Museum exhibits crystals of substances obtained in laboratory. The majority of synthetic crystals were presented to the museum by Professor V. M. Vinokurov. Among them there are crystals of synthetic ruby, ammonium chloride and calcite, activated in the process of synthesis by transitive chemical elements as well as crystals of synthetic quartz, synthesized at the Institute of Crystallography (Moscow) and the Institute of Experimental Mineralogy (Chernogolovka).

A big-size druse of potassium aluminium sulphate and single crystals of copper vitriol are worth paying attention to. Finally there is a considerable collection of pseudo-morphs consisting of more than a hundred of wonderful samples in a crystallographic block. Among them there are such pseudomorphs as quartz on calcite, siderite, fluorite, pyrite, and barite; talc on dolomite, quartz and actinolite; chaetite on pyrite, siderite, cerussite and barite; serpentine on olivine, augite, apatite and many others.

The term "pseudomorph" means a crystal or mineral granule, which is substituted by another mineral while keeping the form of the first one. Pseudomorphs are like petrified evidence of former chemical processes, which show source product and the result of chemical substitution. The most popular example is a "petrified tree", a case, when the timbre structure is seen in details, but the timbre itself was completely substituted by quartz and became a fossil. In America, Arizona, there is a whole reserve of fossil wood.

A British chemist, who didn't tidy his laboratory for years, once cleaning up his table, found a mouse in the glass of copper vitriol. To his greatest surprise the mouse completely consisted of copper pyrite.

Another sensational episode was six hundred years ago, when a miner fell in a deep rock well in iron mines in Sweden. Only in sixty years when his former bride became a grandmother people could reach his body after the mine deepening. It was found that the miner's body was completely substituted by pyrite for sixty years. During the following seven years the "stony man" was kept in the museum of local mine office.

Topaz Crystal. Murzinka, the Urals
Topaz Crystal.
Murzinka, the Urals

Copper Vitriol Grown Crystal
Copper Vitriol
Grown Crystal

Aquamarine Crystal. Adui, the Urals
Aquamarine Crystal.
Adui, the Urals

Potassium Alum Grown Crystals
Potassium Alum
Grown Crystals

<< Back       Home       Forward >>
© 2005-2012 Kazan University