A sodium chloride crystal is cleaved by striking it sharply with a pestle.
This can be used as a projected demo or as a small group activity for a class to demonstrate the crystalline properties of some solid materials such as ionic compounds. It might be useful to display an ionic model of the sodium chloride crystal with this demo.
The regular planes of cleavage of a crystalline solid corresponds to the orientation in space of the species which comprise it.
- small plastic box with lid
- sodium chloride crystal
- ring stand base
- impact goggles
While the crystal is resting on the ring stand base, strike it sharply with the pestle to cleave off a portion. Lesve the crystal and base in the box to contain the fragments.
Wear impact goggles for this demo to protect your eyes.