This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Monday, 4 February 2019

Spot the Frippet: lattice.

You get lattices in gardens, obviously:

And they are also sometimes are found in buildings:

File:Amerian House lattice interior.jpg
The Armerian House, Kashan, Iran. Photo by Matthias Blume

But there are more, many more, everywhere. 

I mean, what about Bravais lattices?

They're a lot smaller than the lattices you see with roses growing up them. A lot smaller: in fact they're the way many substances fitted together.

For instance, a diamond consists of a lattice of carbon atoms arranged like this:

(Carbon atoms arranged in a different lattice pattern form the lead in a pencil (which, obviously, therefore can't actually be made of lead)).

Mixtures of elements can form lattices, too. Salt is one example: a single grain of salt is made up of a lattice of perhaps 1,200,000,000,000,000,000 ions (ions are more or less the same as atoms), half of them sodium ions and half of them chlorine. Each unit of the lattice is a cube, just like the grain of salt itself.

Solid metals are also fitted together like lattices.

Of all the lattices, a crystal is particularly wonderful, giving us a clue as it does of the way its atoms are arranged at the tiniest possible level:

This is amethyst quartz. Photo by Didier Descouens

So now think: how many lattices are there within a metre of you?

Spot the Frippet: lattice. This word comes from the Old French latte, which means lath, a strip of wood.

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