'Graphite from Colombo, Sri Lanka'

'Graphite from Colombo, Sri Lanka'

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Credit: JOEL AREM/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Graphite, the softest mineral, and diamond, the hardest mineral, are both composed of pure carbon. Their different properties result from the way the carbon atoms are arranged in their crystal structures. Graphite is so brittle that merely rubbing it on a surface causes tiny particles to break off. Thin cyllinders of graphite are therefore used in writing instruments, i.e. the 'lead' in pencils. Graphite occurs worldwide, but excellent material is known from the vicinity of Colombo, in Sri Lanka.

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Keywords: arem collection, carbon, crystal, crystals, geology, graphite, mineral, mineralogy, minerals, nature, object, ores, pencil lead, specimen, specimens, still life

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