Quartz is a hard, crystalline mineral composed of silica (silicon dioxide). Quartz exists in two forms, the normal α-quartz, and the high-temperature β-quartz, both of which are chiral. The transformation from α-quartz to β-quartz takes place abruptly at 573 °C (846 K; 1,063 °F). Since the transformation is accompanied by a significant change in volume, it can easily induce the fracturing of ceramics or rocks passing through this temperature threshold.
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