Modeling the Atomic Structure of an Ice Crystal

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This Demonstration shows a rhombic dodecahedron (RD) whose geometry can correspond to a unit cell of an ice crystal. The top of the RD is rotated by 60 degrees relative to the bottom, creating a space-filling polyhedron. If such polyhedral cells are placed side by side, then the oxygen atoms in the ice crystal are at the vertices (shown as the spheres) and the hydrogen atoms are on the connecting bars.

Contributed by: Sándor Kabai (September 2013)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA


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