Scientists from Europe and the United States have found that found in Russia a unique mineral came to our planet from space. This is stated in an article published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Quasi-crystals are different from "normal" crystals of its internal structure, which has the symmetry axes of different orders. The story of their discovery has already become almost a detective.
Theoretically predicted the existence of quasicrystals in the early 1980s., And in 1982 it proved scientist Daniel Shechtman of Israel. While Schechtman colleagues reacted to his discovery of skepticism. According to some, the existence of quasicrystals in general it was not possible. Nevertheless, they are still unable to then create artificially in the laboratory.
After a long search, quasi-crystals found in nature, within the mineral hatyrkita. Its found in the 1979 Soviet geologist Valery Kryachko near the river bed Khatyrka in Chukotka. In 2009, a group of American researchers led by Paul Steinhardt has carefully studied this little-known and unattractive in appearance and mineral found inside natural quasicrystals. In 2011, Shechtman received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry — a delay of almost twenty years.
Trying to figure out how quasi-crystals formed in nature, Steinhardt and his colleagues have carefully studied samples hatyrkita and found that quasicrystals actually came to Earth from space. Apparently, they were part of a meteorite that fell to our planet about 4.5 billion years ago.
How do quasicrystals formed in space, remains to be seen. In the laboratory, they get very difficult for the 25 years it has managed to only about 100.