The crystal moment

Scientists have for the first time observed at the molecular level the instant at which a solution undergoes a transition and a crystalline solid appears. The observation corroborates recent theories about the process of crystallization, but also shows that if one knows how a crystal starts growing it could be possible to predict the final structure. Organic chemist Ronny Neumann of the Weizmann Institute and his colleagues used electron microscopy to observe the formation of dense phases and the subsequent transformation of these phases into crystal nuclei.