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Old Nov 18 2006, 02:43 AM   #1
MikeyD
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Question Crystal Colors and Other Good discussion Topics

Howdy Folks!

I teach High School and have finally talked our Faculty Book Club into reading a SF. What else to choose for nooby SF readers but Crystal Singer? Of course we're meeting this Tuesday and as my official card for the Procrastinator of the year has not come yet...

... I figured I'd have to get some good topics as they want me to lead the discussion.

Initial, informal feedback from the book is awesome and our librarian wants to know more about Ballybran Crystal. As I'm kind of working from my decrepit memory of the other books to fill this in, if anyone can add to or correct this list I would be very grateful!

Rose – Ornamental and ??
Blue – Star ship drives and ??
Green – Optherian organs and ??
Black – Communication
What else am I missing?

Also, if anyone has a good starter for discussion topics, that would be helpful as well.

Thanks in advance!

Mikey
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Old Nov 18 2006, 04:13 AM   #2
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Hi you are very brave to get your book club to read SF. We stick to solid modern fiction in ours aside from one summer read of Pullmans trilogy. But I digress.

I just checked out Pam's site but I saw nothing of interest.

Working from memory there was

White Crystal
And didn't one of the boats that transported them to the angel island have blue crystal drive
And in the last book didn't that flat bed transporter belonging to the guy who made beer have a crystal drive.

So maybe transportation in general is a better area.
Communication
Entertainment systems



And then there were shades of the colours. I remember light blues and dark blues. And didn't someone say that "That singer only cut the pale colours" which seemed to be a bit dismissive of him for some reason.

Good luck with your book club.
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Old Nov 18 2006, 06:33 AM   #3
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The implications of pale/dark seems to be that the darker the shade (of which ever colour, except black and white) the more powerful the crystal.

Biyanko, the Harmat Maker's, crystals were (I think) greens.

The optherian organ crystals that Killa repairs were whites.

For a discussion topic: what does the book "Crystal Singer" teach us about dealing with failure (especially academic failure)?
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Old Nov 18 2006, 10:46 AM   #4
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I have a list somewhere buried on my hard drive... I really should add it onto the site.
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Old Nov 18 2006, 11:24 AM   #5
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Okay, here's what I had on a webpage to be. Mind you, its still in draft form
Quote:
Calling Ballybran "Crystal" crystal is not an accurate term for they all cannot be "crystals." A blue porphry rock is mentioned at one point. A porphritic rock cannot be a single crystal. It is composed of many crystals of two distinct sizes generally due to two stages of cooling. While there are "quartz porphrys" that could be cut in crystal shapes the rock itself will not resemble what one thinks of as a crystal due to the cooling process.

Crystal comes in rose, green, blue, white, yellow and black. The darker the color, the more powerful, and hardy, the crystal.

Used in: the production of laser control elements, material for integrated-circuit substrates (of the ladder hierarchy,) positronic robotics, electromagnetic radiation transducers, heat transducers, sound relays and instruments, Tachyon Drive Systems (blue tetrahedrons) instantaneous communication (black,) optical storage devices. Black crystal is subjected to synchronized magnetic induction which results in instantanous resonance at a distance of up to 500 ly.
Biyanco used greens in his Harmat maker, because the load wasn't being sustained for long periods of time. If he was a full-time harmat maker something stronger, like blues, would have been required. The greens couldn't have handled it.

On the subject of communication devices the darker the crystal the further away from each other you could be. When the Blackwell Triad showed up in Crystal Line they were hoping the Guild would cut them a deal on something better than what they could afford, attempting to use "deaths" to play on the Guild's sympathy. Unlucky for them, the Guild has no sympathy.
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Old Nov 18 2006, 04:56 PM   #6
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Thanks folks!

For the life of me I can't remember the whites.

This morning I did find referances to Pale pink being used as computer chips of transducers.

And

Blue for optical storage.

Funny, this book was written in '82 and the optical storage capacit of a gigaword (I'll equate it to a Gigabite) or memory could fit into a cubic CM of crystal. Today we have flash drives that quadruple that statistic.

I'll keep looking for more colors and thanks again!
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Old Nov 19 2006, 11:44 AM   #7
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The whites are discussed in Killashandra, the second book. Greens are mentioned as being used for Optherian organs in the first book, although there's no evidence for that in the second, as the crystals of the other organs on the planet are never mentioned.
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Old Jan 22 2007, 02:44 PM   #8
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Greens are also used for communication. In Crystal Line, the Apharian League wants to buy crystal for a communications network. They can't afford black. They are offered blue or green crystal . Blue is in stock but more expensive than green. Green has a longer time lag in communication, is cheaper than blue, but they don't have it in stock. The Apharians don't want to wait for green, so they buy blue. Then Lars & Killa go out to the ranges and cut 8 crates of green crystal for comm units!
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Old Jan 24 2007, 08:14 AM   #9
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There is also amethyst colored crystal. At the beginning of Crystal Line chapter 11, Killashandra brings in "a full carton of deep amethyst crystals in fifths and thirds."

She makes a lot of credits on them because "there's a good market for them right now. Two space stations are being constructed, and the big Altairian way station is expanding, so darks are needed for their life-support systems".

So, dark crystals... amethyst and I guess dark blue also are used for life support systems.

Biyanco, the harmat maker's crystals were blues from the Ghanghe Range... (minors). For whatever reason, minors are less expensive than majors. Killa is surprised: "Minor? For heavy work like this?". He could use minors because "it isn't that continuous a load and minors don't cost what mjors do". Killa retunes them to be majors.
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Old Jan 24 2007, 12:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: Crystal Colors and Other Good discussion Topics

I have all the books at home. If anybody wants I can go through them all again and note the colours and uses (where stated)? I think I should be able to do it at the weekend (currently working away from home so won't get them until Friday evening).

Or is it all too late now?
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Old Jan 24 2007, 02:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gidget2 View Post
I have all the books at home. If anybody wants I can go through them all again and note the colours and uses (where stated)? I think I should be able to do it at the weekend (currently working away from home so won't get them until Friday evening).

Or is it all too late now?
I've got all the crystal references down somewhere, I just haven't compiled it or put it on my site yet (I'm very lazy.) So if I were you I wouldn't bother unless you like to duplicate research
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Old Jan 24 2007, 07:14 PM   #12
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LOL No, it's ok. If you've done it and it's all compiled then it's all a bit unnecessary!!
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Old Mar 4 2008, 04:09 AM   #13
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well, from my misspent youth learning Electronics in the U.S. Navy, I got to learn that one method of producing Electricity was through piezoelectricity (which is how Anne described how the crystals were applied) Piezo electricity occurs when a crystal is subjected to pressure. so my feeling is that the individual crystals would have a range of uses as well as strength within the use. communications would be acheived by frequency of electricity produced, as well as power level the crystal can acheive. For power applications, the electricity would be used to power motors. the felkts used in mounting, and proper pressure at rest would be so there would be even pressure during compression. a loose mounting would slam into the crystal ( and over time cause fractures) while insufficient padding would over time introduce flaws. the crystal producing sound as well as electricity would be an easy way to tell if it was producing electricity at the required frequency. if it started slipping, bad things for motors can't find signals you get the picture.

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Old Mar 4 2008, 07:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Essay I wrote last year
The use of piezo crystals in the scanning tunnelling microscope allows for atomic scale movement. The piezo crystal has a structure with no point symmetry (i.e. a tetrahedron) with a central, positively charged ion surrounded by negatively charged ions. This gives the negative ions a centre of gravity at the centre of the positively charged ion. When the crystal is compressed along an axis parallel to one of the bonds connecting a negatively charged ion with the positively charged ion, the overall height of the crystal decreases while the bond length remains constant. This moves the centre of gravity upwards so that the centres of gravity of the positive and negative ions no longer coincide. This causes a dipole moment. In a crystal structure built up of these units aligned in parallel, the dipoles add up causing areas of positive and negative charges to build up at either end of the crystal, this is known as the piezo-electrical effect. If a voltage is applied across a crystal, the piezo-electrical effect causes the crystal to contract and it is this that is utilised by the scanning tunnelling microscope.
The Piezo-electric effect. I need to draw diagrams because I thought that I had one and I don't.
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Old Mar 4 2008, 02:22 PM   #15
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most of what we do these days is to have the crystal provide a frequency the piezo doesn't really provide sufficient power at least in terran crystals to do both. diagrams?
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