The physical conditions under which polymorphous modifications are prepared control the form which the substance assumes.
On the basis of the relation between physical phenomena and thermodynamical laws, properties of the polymorphous compounds may be predicted.
It is remarkable that a great many polymorphous substances assume more symmetrical forms at higher temperatures, and a possible explanation of the increase in density of such compounds as silver iodide, &c., may be sought for in the theory that the formation of a more symmetrical configuration would involve a drawing together of the molecules, and consequently an increase in density.
Under all these three conditions the diamond is associated with fragments of the rocks of the country and the minerals derived from them, 'especially quartz, hornstone, jasper, the polymorphous oxide of titanium (rutile, anatase and brookite), oxides and hydrates of iron (magnetite, ilmenite, haematite, limonite), oxide of tin, iron pyrites, tourmaline, garnet, xenotime, monazite, kyanite, diaspore, sphene, topaz, and several phosphates, and also gold.
Now, whether a real, though undetected, change occurs is a question to be determined from case to case; it is certain, however, that a substance like aragonite (a mineral form of calcium carbonate) has sensibly persisted in geological periods, though the polymorphous calcite is the more stable form.
While polysymmetry is solely conditioned by the manner in which the mimetic twin is built up from the single crystals, there being no change in the scalar properties, and the vector properties being calculable from the nature of the twinning, in the case of polymorphism entirely different structures present themselves, both scalar and vector properties being altered; and, in the present state of our knowledge, it is impossible to foretell the characters of a polymorphous modification.
In general, polysymmetric and polymorphous modifications suffer transformation when submitted to variations in either temperature or pressure, or both.