Crystals are undeniably beautiful. They feel great to hold. The weight of a crystal in the palm of your hand is such a comforting feeling. But what is it that makes us stop and spend 30 minutes at every crystal stall, picking them up and putting them down, sometimes with no intention of buying anything? Only to stop because a crystal calls to you, and you just cannot resist. (Sitting here writing I am surrounded by crystals that confirm the existence of this very phenomenon.)
So let's explore crystals and try to touch on some of the science behind why we are so drawn to them.
Just so we are all on the same page here, I'll start with a quick layperson definition of a crystal. A crystal is a solid material whose constituent parts are arranged in a highly ordered structure, with a fixed distance between these parts. This arrangement is called a crystal lattice, and it is a three-dimensional repeating pattern created by the atoms, molecules, or ions that make up the crystal. This symmetrical arrangement forms flat faces with specific orientations.
I'm glad I got that out of the way.
These unique characteristics of crystals make them an essential component in many of our high-tech devices, and maybe some of the attributes that make them useful in technology also make them beneficial to us on a more holistic level.
Let’s have a look at some of the practical application for crystals.
It is not news to any of you that crystals are used in clocks and watches to regulate the movement of the piece. But how does it work? Well, I'm glad you asked.
Quartz crystals are piezoelectric. When placed under mechanical stress, they produce electricity. Conversely, if you apply an electrical current to them, they vibrate at a very precise rate - 32,768 times per second to be exact. The process is called the piezoelectric effect. Basically, the crystal will distort when stressed, vibrating at a remarkably consistent frequency until they return to their original state. Pretty cool when you think about vibrational energy and inherently useful when creating a watch where precision is paramount.
But watches are not the only place where the piezoelectric effect of crystals is useful; quartz resonators were used for Sonar during the first world war, quartz crystal oscillators are used in radio transmission, the electrical polarization of crystals are used in liquid crystal display, the list is long, but did you know solar cells use silicon (another crystalline solid) to produce photovoltaic energy? When the crystal is exposed to electromagnetic radiation in the form of sunlight, the crystal will emit electrons. Electrons emitted in this way are called photoelectrons. These photoelectrons are used to produce an electrical current that can then be stored.
Now, I’d like to go into more detail on the how’s and why’s of this process, but this is where science gets a little difficult to explain. Not because science disagrees with the concept that crystal produce electricity when exposed to sunlight, this is scientific fact, it is the theory behind why this happens where science is a bit conflicted. It comes down to general relativity vs quantum mechanics. One explains gravity and the orbit of the planets and the other can predict with extraordinary accuracy what happens when light hits a crystal.
We are talking crystals here, so if quantum mechanics can explain it, what's the problem?
My problem, in so much as I have one, is that quantum mechanics cannot explain gravity, not yet. Eventually, it will be able to, but at this stage there is no unified theory that explains the orbits of the planets as well as how crystals produce electricity for solar panels. I don’t have a issue with this. Humanity can’t be expected to learn everything at once. Both systems work for the areas they are focused on. We use one avenue of science to create buildings that don’t fall down and another to create computer chips that store enormous amounts of data. It works!
Yet people are quick to dismiss crystal and energy healing as a pseudoscience because it cannot be scientifically proven. It isn’t measurable. Isn't predictable.
Sure I get that, I really do.
But... here are some things that we do know.
As outlined above, crystals have amazing properties when it comes to energy. They have a highly structured form that resonates at certain frequencies and they not only respond to electricity and electromagnetic radiation but can produce energy both from exposure to sunlight as well as mechanical stress.
They have a high tolerance for mechanical stress and will return to their original highly structured state repeatedly, with very little change over long periods of time.
It is also scientific fact that human beings are made of matter (95% of our bodies are comprised of just six elements; oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. Yet quantum physic believes that if you boil things down enough, we are all made or energy. I don’t think we need to get into this debate because it seems kind of irrelevant in this example, if you ask me.
Because we may or may not be considered energy, it really depends on how closely you want to look at things, and what you want to use as your definition, but what we can say as scientific fact is that our bodies run on electricity. At rest, the human body produces around 100 watts of power with the ability to increase the output to about 2000 watts of power when needed. Our cells create electronic impulses that literally send signals all over your body and I haven’t even touched on the heart and brain so you can see why I think it’s kind of irrelevant whether we deem the body to be matter or energy. So I’ll move on.
We also know that if a strong enough electrical current passes through the body, the system stops working. Applying a lesser more controlled current can get things running smoothly again.
So it does not seem so improbable to me that being exposed to a structure that is highly ordered and that has proven piezoelectric and photovoltaic properties could have some impact on a highly sensitive system such as the human body.
But it’s not measurable.
Science is currently developing equipment sensitive enough to measure changes in our energy fields. Some believe they have already found it. Who knows what will be confirmed when the equipment is fully tested.
It’s not predicable.
No, it is not, but the concept of crystal and other forms of energy healing has been around for thousands of years and there are a growing amount of people that swear by the practice.
To be honest, I think the human mind is capable of great things, quantum physics and the observer effect have a tendency to agree with me. I am not sure if crystals facilitate healing, but I do know they help me focus my intent and science has proven that a person’s belief in a process can affect the outcome.
And one thing is fact - they sure are beautiful.
Nothing but Love ❤
Petra M Costa
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