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Definition: quartz (SiO2) from Processing Water, Wastewater, Residuals, and Excreta for Health and Environmental Protection: An Encyclopedic Dictionary

A crystalline mineral characteristic of acid igneous rocks and abundant in sedimentary and metamorphic rocks; water-clear when pure, but also found in a number of varieties such as amethyst (purple) and rose quartz (pink).


Summary Article: quartz from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Crystalline form of silica SiO2, one of the most abundant minerals of the Earth's crust (12% by volume). Quartz occurs in many different kinds of rock, including sandstone and granite. It ranks 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness and is resistant to chemical or mechanical breakdown. Quartzes vary according to the size and purity of their crystals. Crystals of pure quartz are coarse, colourless, transparent, show no cleavage, and fracture unevenly; this form is usually called rock crystal. Impure coloured varieties, often used as gemstones, include agate, citrine quartz, and amethyst. Quartz is also used as a general name for the cryptocrystalline and noncrystalline varieties of silica, such as chalcedony, chert, and opal.

Quartz is used in ornamental work and industry, where its reaction to electricity makes it valuable in electronic instruments (see piezoelectric effect). Quartz can also be made synthetically.

Crystals that would take millions of years to form naturally can now be ‘grown’ in pressure vessels to a standard that allows them to be used in optical and scientific instruments and in electronics, such as quartz wristwatches.

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Mohs' scale of hardness

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