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Star of antimony.

Star of antimony.
3 1 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 23cm


The beautiful star formed on the surface of antimony as the molten metal solidifies greatly attracted the alchemists of the 16th century. The appearance of the star was believed by some to have an occult significance, but by the 18th century the crystalline nature of metals was being appreciated. In modern times the behaviour of metals is explained very much in terms of their crystal structure.

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© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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