Examples of a crystal previously thought to be impossible in nature may have come from space, a study shows. Quasicrystals have an unusual structure – in between those of crystals and glasses. Quasicrystals break some of the rules of symmetry that apply to conventional crystalline structures. They also exhibit different physical and electrical properties
Until two years ago, quasicrystals had only been created in the lab – then geologists found them in rocks from Russia’s Koryak mountains. In PNAS journal, a team says the chemistry of the Russian crystals suggests they arrived in meteorites.