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QX3 Time-Lapse Movie Gallery

Copper Sulfate

Copper sulfate is a water-soluble copper (II) salt that has a wide spectrum of uses ranging from a supplement for animal feed to electrolytic plating of metallic copper. Solid crystals are bright blue when purified and are also translucent. In mineral form, copper sulfate is known as chalcanthite, which is formed through the oxidation of copper sulfides. Chalcanthite is only found in arid regions and dry caves that are protected from moisture, where it often forms stalactic and botryoidal growths on the walls and ceilings. Natural chalcanthite crystals are rarely found in nature, but synthetic crystals are easily grown in the laboratory. When recrystallized from the an aqueous solution, copper sulfate will slowly crystallize, forming beautiful prismatic and tabular or needle-like crystals. The time-lapse movie was made using a modified version of the Intel Play QX3 microscope equipped for polarized light illumination with a full-wave (first order) retardation plate.


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