Virginia Tech geoscientists resolve inconsistent data on crystal growth, dissolution

October 17, 2005

Blacksburg, Va. -- Virginia Tech Geoscientists Patricia Dove and Nizhou Han have demonstrated that crystals dissolve and grow by the same set of analogous 'reversed' mechanisms. Previously, the scientific community had long-maintained that growth and dissolution could not be unified into a single framework of understanding. The new evidence is certain to overturn that perception.

Dove, Han, and James J. De Yoreo of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory report their research in the Oct. 17 - 21 Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Mechanisms of classical crystal growth theory explain quartz and silicate dissolution behavior)

"We call this the Eureka paper," explained Dove. "For more than a decade, our group has been studying how minerals and crystals dissolve while also collaborating with Jim De Yoreo on how organisms grow crystals and minerals into complex shapes such as seashells and bone." It was because of the unique intersection of these two research areas in our laboratory that we were able to establish this fundamental link."

One of the most convincing indications that this paper is onto something quite profound is that the researchers' approach reconciles inconsistencies between two pre-existing data sets for kaolinite, according to reviewer Bruce Watson, professor of geochemistry at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Kaolinite is a major earth and industrial material. The researchers show evidence for why their approach is likely to prove applicable to many different kinds of natural and manufactured crystals.

The essential idea is intuitive and elegant with profound implications for all disciplines where crystal dissolution is important, Watson wrote.

In addition to deep scientific questions regarding how fast minerals dissolve over geologic time, the findings will also give new insights for understanding such diverse questions as the long-term durability of containers that will hold nuclear waste, lifetimes of artificial bone materials, and possibly other biomedical issues, including drug delivery, Dove said.

"Dr. Dove's findings offer a good unifying approach for explaining crystal and mineral dissolution and growth," said James Mitchell, National Academy of Sciences member and professor emeritus of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech. "It offers a new view that is consistent with the data. After you read it, you say, 'Why didn't I think of that.'" But it is an approach that classical geochemists have not used before, he said.

Dove and her research group won the Department of Energy Best University Research Award when she presented these findings at the symposium on "Isotope and Analytical Geochemistry" in June in Gaithersburg, Md. She is the only two-time winner of this DOE recognition, having also received this award in 1999 at the "Interfacial Processes in Geosciences" symposium at Pacific Northwest National Lab in 1999.
-end-
Learn more about her work at http://www.geos.vt.edu/people/user_detail.php?department_id=1&user_id=2

Virginia Tech

Related Data Articles from Brightsurf:

Keep the data coming
A continuous data supply ensures data-intensive simulations can run at maximum speed.

Astronomers are bulging with data
For the first time, over 250 million stars in our galaxy's bulge have been surveyed in near-ultraviolet, optical, and near-infrared light, opening the door for astronomers to reexamine key questions about the Milky Way's formation and history.

Novel method for measuring spatial dependencies turns less data into more data
Researcher makes 'little data' act big through, the application of mathematical techniques normally used for time-series, to spatial processes.

Ups and downs in COVID-19 data may be caused by data reporting practices
As data accumulates on COVID-19 cases and deaths, researchers have observed patterns of peaks and valleys that repeat on a near-weekly basis.

Data centers use less energy than you think
Using the most detailed model to date of global data center energy use, researchers found that massive efficiency gains by data centers have kept energy use roughly flat over the past decade.

Storing data in music
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a technique for embedding data in music and transmitting it to a smartphone.

Life data economics: calling for new models to assess the value of human data
After the collapse of the blockchain bubble a number of research organisations are developing platforms to enable individual ownership of life data and establish the data valuation and pricing models.

Geoscience data group urges all scientific disciplines to make data open and accessible
Institutions, science funders, data repositories, publishers, researchers and scientific societies from all scientific disciplines must work together to ensure all scientific data are easy to find, access and use, according to a new commentary in Nature by members of the Enabling FAIR Data Steering Committee.

Democratizing data science
MIT researchers are hoping to advance the democratization of data science with a new tool for nonstatisticians that automatically generates models for analyzing raw data.

Getting the most out of atmospheric data analysis
An international team including researchers from Kanazawa University used a new approach to analyze an atmospheric data set spanning 18 years for the investigation of new-particle formation.

Read More: Data News and Data Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.