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Quartz ?

Quartz is a hard and crystalline mineral composed of silica (silicon dioxide). Silica, commonly known in the form of quartz, is the dioxide form of silicon, SiO2. It is usually used to manufacture glass, ceramics, and abrasives. Quartz is the second most common mineral in Earth's crust. Quartz has a value of 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, a qualitative scratch method for determining the hardness of a material to abrasion.

It’s made of tiny oxygen-silicon tetrahedra, which are also the two most common elements in our planet’s crust. The atoms are linked in a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon-oxygen tetrahedra, with each oxygen being shared between two tetrahedra, giving an overall chemical formula of SiO2.

Physical Properties of Quartz:

  • Color: Quartz occurs in a variety of colors, including clear, white, gray, purple, pink, yellow, orange, brown, and black.
  • Hardness: Quartz has a Mohs hardness rating of 7, making it a hard and durable mineral.
  • Fracture: Quartz has a conchoidal fracture, meaning it breaks in a smooth, curved manner.
  • Luster: Quartz has a vitreous (glass-like) luster.
  • Transparency: Quartz can be transparent to translucent, depending on the type and impurities present.
  • Specific gravity: The specific gravity of quartz ranges from 2.55 to 2.75.
  • Cleavage: Quartz does not have a true cleavage, but it does have a conchoidal fracture that can create flat surfaces.
  • Crystal system: Quartz belongs to the hexagonal crystal system and typically forms six-sided prisms with pointed ends.
  • Streak: The streak of quartz is typically white.
  • Density: The density of quartz ranges from 2.6 to 2.8 g/cm³, depending on the type and impurities present.

Chemical Properties of Quartz:

  • Chemical formula: SiO2 - quartz is composed of silicon dioxide molecules.
  • Molecular weight: 60.08 g/mol - this is the weight of one mole of the compound.
  • Density: 2.65 g/cm³ - this is the density of the material.
  • Melting point: 1713°C - the temperature at which the solid material melts and becomes a liquid.
  • Boiling point: 2230°C - the temperature at which the liquid material boils and becomes a gas.
  • Solubility: Quartz is insoluble in water and most other liquids, but it can be dissolved in hydrofluoric acid.
  • Reactivity: Quartz is chemically inert and does not react with most acids or bases, except for hydrofluoric acid.
  • Stability: Quartz is very stable and does not easily decompose or react with other substances.
  • Electrical conductivity: Quartz is a poor conductor of electricity, but it exhibits piezoelectricity, which means it can generate an electrical charge when subjected to mechanical stress.
  • Optical properties: Quartz is transparent to translucent and has a high refractive index, which means it can refract light and create prisms.

Quartz exists in two forms :

  • alpha-, or low, quartz, which is stable up to 573 °C (1,063 °F).
  • beta-, or high, quartz, stable above 573 °C.