Summary of Structure Matters .
     Here again, as for the classic polyhedra of the previous lesson, the structure of 
space is seen to greatly influence the forms that atomic structures take.  The striking
geometry and symmetry exhibited by elements and minerals results from the .
dynamic interplay of their individual chemical properties acted out in the context of .
spatial constraints.  The regularity and periodicity afforded by the crystal lattice .
structure enables individual atoms to build extended solids as they pack together in
response to the physical and chemical factors present in their immediate micro- .
environment. .
     This all pervasive mating of form with function permits a great diversity of matter
to be created while preserving the fundamental ordering and unifying principles
that give it shape.  The extent to which atoms avail themselves of these organizing
principles depends on the intrinsic and extrinsic forces acting on them and what
advantages and disadvantages such ordering offers in their ceaseless striving to
reach the highest state of stability and equilibrium as possible.


These same organizing principles and dynamics greatly influence the design of

man-made structures as will be shown in the next lesson on structural engineering.

And you will see that the same principles structural engineers employ to design

stable structures also explain the underlying physical processes that govern how

atoms pack together so as to balance the intrinsic and extrinsic forces acting on 



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