1. What is the geometric shape of the alum crystal?
2. What can cause more than one crystal to form around a
3. What do shadowgraph plumes around the growing crystal
indicate? Do you think that plumes would form around crystals growing
4. Does the growth rate of the crystal remain constant? Why
or why not?
5. What would cause a seed crystal to disappear? Could a
crystal decrease in size? Why?
6. What are some of the possible applications for space-grown
FOR FURTHER RESEARCH:
1. Grow additional alum crystals without the cap placed
over the box. In one experiment, permit the growth solution to evaporate
at room temperature. In another, place the growth chamber in a warm
area or even on a hot plate set at the lowest possible setting.
Are there any differences in the crystals produced compared to the
first one grown? How does the growth rate compare in each of the
2. Experiment with growing crystals of other chemicals such
as table salt, copper sulfate, chrome alum, Rochelle salt, etc.
Caution: Become familiar with potential hazards of any of the chemicals
you choose and take appropriate safety precautions.
3. Review scientific literature for results from microgravity
crystal growing experiments.