Once Upon a Time in Kamchatka:
The Strange Search for Natural Quasicrystals
Paul J. Steinhardt
A quasicrystal is an exotic state of matter, analogous to a Penrose tiling, with symmetries forbidden to crystals, such as five-fold symmetry in the plane and icosahedral symmetry in three dimensions. Quasicrystals were first hypothesized and synthesized in the laboratory twenty-five years ago, but could Nature have beaten us to the punch? The effort to answer that question makes for one of the stranger scientific stories you are ever likely to hear.