Chapter 8: Implications for Everyday Systems

Section 2: The Growth of Crystals

Amorphous materials

When solidification occurs fairly slowly, atoms have time to arrange themselves in a regular crystalline way. But if the cooling is sufficiently rapid, amorphous solids such as glasses are often formed. And in such cases, the packing of atoms is quite random—except that locally there is often approximate icosahedral structure, analogous to that discussed on page 943. (See also page 986.)

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From Stephen Wolfram: A New Kind of Science [citation]