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TITLE: Salt of the Earth

[Photo: Salt Crystals]
Each time you salt your food you shake out crystals measuring about 0.2mm across, like these shown in this microscope photo of a salted french fry. Slight differences in growing conditions caused some crystals to deviate from a perfect cube.


This image of a salt crystal’s surface — magnified 100 million times — reveals the atoms' repeating cubic pattern. The false-colored image was made by an atomic force microscope. Developed in the 1980s, this technology enables scientists to study atoms on crystal surfaces.

  [Photo: Magnified Surface of Salt]

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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Mineral Sciences website Credits