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Homework Help: What can this crystal be?

  1. Apr 10, 2009 #1
    What can this crystal be???


    I have some crystals with the following properties which I am unfortunately unable to find out their chemical formula or name... any other material with the following characteristics will help too.

    Cubic with octahedral habit.

    RI : 1.5 - 1.6

    Density : 1 - 1.25 gmcm^-3

    Color : White

    Soluble in water.

    MP : about room temp.



    Its not toxic.

    Prosperous Regards.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 10, 2009 #2
    Re: What can this crystal be???

    The simple thing it comes to my mind is sugar. Don't know if those properties correspond, maybe you want to make an internet search.
    Anyway it's not so easy to answer your question, there are a lot of salts which could have those properties.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  4. Apr 10, 2009 #3
    Re: What can this crystal be???

    Thank you for your reply... The properties of sugar are extremely similar too... but this mystery compound has two other properties too:

    1) it smells a bit like chlorine...


    2) when heated it doesn't gets concentrated as quickly as sugar!

    Once again thanks for contributing.
  5. Apr 10, 2009 #4


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    Gold Member

    Re: What can this crystal be???

    Low density, melting point near room temperature... possibly some organic solid.
  6. Apr 10, 2009 #5
    Re: What can this crystal be???

    A complete guess because it just popped into my head........stearic acid
    If you measure its melting point you may be able to refer to a data sheet.
  7. Apr 11, 2009 #6
    Re: What can this crystal be???

    Thanks... but stearic acid has a comparatively high mp...

    Could it be Acetic acid mixed up with sugar... it looks quite similar to acetic acid but with lower mp...
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