School of Physics Lecture Demonstration Manual

Oh-1 Calcite (Crystal Model)

Published: Wednesday 15 March 2006 - Updated: Monday 28 March 2011

Aim

To illustrate the lattice structure of calcite.

Apparatus

Calcite model

Diagrams

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Calcite Diagram

Description

Calcite or Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) is a naturally occurring birefringent crystal. Marble and limestone are bothe composed of calcium carbonate. Along a specific axis each carbonate group is seen to form a triangular cluster perpendicular to this axis called the optical axis. The large birefringence of calcite is due to the Carbonate groups which are all in planes normal to the optic axis.

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