I have to admit, I’ve never done the “grow the crystals on a string” experiment before. Seems like everyone I talk to is saying “oh,yeah, I remember doing that as a kid.”. One of the great bonuses about having children is filling in the “gaps” in your experiences (and learning) and having a great excuse to do some things all over again (e.g. Legos, model rockets, etc.)
If you look in the middle of the picture below ….
… you will see the “starter rock” with the “sharp edges” which, in theory, the crystal will form on as the alum-saturated water evaporates. It can take 4-6 weeks to really get big enough to care about. That may be one of the biggest lessons of this experiment – patience. So many other projects and experiments have immediate gratification. This will take a while.It is really quite a small rock (40-50mm) but looks bigger in the picture.
We’ll see how it goes.
p.s. I really am starting to like Live Writer for blogging. Really makes things painless and does a great job of importing, scaling, and putting the little fancy edges on pictures (and automatically uploading the pictures via the metaweblog api). Helps you focus just on content and quickly getting stuff posted.