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A crystal clear view of chalk formation


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Geplaatst op 23 januari 2009 - 16:58

(PhysOrg.com) -- It has a beautiful, but also an unpleasant side: crystallization determines the shape of precious stones, but also causes the lime scale in washing machines. How this comes about, has been known for a long time - or has it? Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces are now whittling away at the established theory, which is unable to explain numerous phenomena. The researchers investigated the crystallization of calcium carbonate, known commonly as chalk, and found that stable nanoclusters form in water with a small quantity of dissolved calcium carbonate - not how it was assumed to happen in the past. The lime scale deposits that will eventually bring a washing machine to a standstill are created from these tiny chalk particles.

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