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January-February 2018

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What's In A Cube?

Ah, the simple cube. Or is it really so simple? Of all the forms in which minerals crystallize, the cube, which is in the isometric system, has the most symmetry. Consider its rotational symmetry: three fourfold axes, six axes that are twofold, and four that are threefold; its mirror planes: nine in all; and, last but not least: its center of symmetry. Wow! How can something so simple also be so complex?

 

Susan Robinson is a freelance artist specializing in painting mineral and gem specimens as well as birds and wildlife.

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