How To Make Sulfur Crystals

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Grow Sulfur Crystals from a Melt and Watch Them Change Shape

Sulfur forms distinctive yellow crystals that spontaneously change shape.
Sulfur forms distinctive yellow crystals that spontaneously change shape. DEA/C.BEVILACQUA, Getty Images

Some crystals form from a melted solid rather than a saturated solution. An example of an easy-to-grow crystal from a hot melt is sulfur. Sulfur forms bright yellow crystals that spontaneously change form.

Materials

  • Sulfur [find online]
  • Bunsen Burner
  • Spoon

Procedure

  1. Heat a spoonful of sulfur powder in the burner flame. You want the sulfur to melt rather than burn, so avoid letting it get too hot. Sulfur melts into a red liquid. If it gets too hot, it will burn with a blue flame. Remove the sulfur from the flame as soon as it liquefies.
  2. Once removed from the flame, the sulfur will cool from the hot melt into needles of monoclinic sulfur. These crystals will spontaneously transition into rhomic needles within a few hours.

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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "How To Make Sulfur Crystals." ThoughtCo, Feb. 20, 2017, thoughtco.com/how-to-make-sulfur-crystals-606254. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2017, February 20). How To Make Sulfur Crystals. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-make-sulfur-crystals-606254 Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "How To Make Sulfur Crystals." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/how-to-make-sulfur-crystals-606254 (accessed November 22, 2017).