As a solution cools down, or the solvent is removed by evaporation, a point is ultimately reached at which material separates in solid form. The first molecule to deposit attracts others to itself and a solid mass is gradually built up. If the attractive forces are without any particular orientation in space, the arrangement will be a random one, and the material is classed as amorphous. In most cases, however, the forces are definitely oriented and the incoming molecules are attracted in four or more directions, so as to take up characteristic arrangements in space, the solid then being said to have a crystalline structure.

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