Rock Candy

Rock candy is one of the oldest and purest forms of crystalline candy. It was originally used by pharmacists to make medicines for many kinds of illnesses. When you make rock candy, you can see sugar crystals forming on a giant scale. Rock candy is made by first boiling a sugar solution, which allows more sugar to dissolve and the water to evaporate, making a supersaturated sugar solution. Food coloring and flavoring may be added after boiling to make the make tinted and flavored rock candy.

Then, a string or stick is dipped in this supersaturated sugar solution and let dry. As the water evopartes, the string will become encrusted with dried sugar. This will provide the seed crystals or nuclei on which the larger crystals will eventually grow.

Then, the sugar crusted string is suspended the supersaturated sugar solution, where it becomes satuarted.  It will take about 7 days for larger sugar crystals to grow. As the water evaporates, sugar crystals grow larger on the string where the seed crystals are. The unique shapes in various sizes they form reflect the shape of individual sugar crystals; they become clearly defined, with sharp right angles and smooth faces. In the field of crystallography, these are called monoclinic crystals. Crystallography groups are composed of 32 classes of symmetry derived from observations of the external crystal form. Monoclinic Crystal Systems are those that have the inner shape of a  parallelogram.  

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