EPS2 Students: this material will not be covered in examinations

  • Quartz occurs in a wide range of crystal sizes, from single crystals weighing many tons to cryptocrystalline varieties whose crystallinity may be seen only with the aid of an electron microscope.
  • The name quartz is believed to have originated in the early 1500s from the Saxon word querklufterz (cross-vein ore), which was corrupted to quererz and then to quartz. Quartz was well known to the ancients, who called it crystal or rock crystal.
  • Quartz crystallizes in the trigonal trapezohedral class of the rhombohedral subsystem of hexagonal symmetry.
  • Vigorous rubbing of one quartz crystal by another may also produce visible light (triboluminescence).
  • Quartz is used as a component of glass, ceramics, refractories, cements, and mortar; as an abrasive; as a chemical raw material for the manufacture of sodium silicate, silicon carbide, silicon metals, organic silicates, and silicones; and as a component in numerous other industrial materials.