Characterization and Identification of Mineral Unknowns: A Mineralogy Term Project
David Moecher January 2004 Journal of Geoscience Education vol 52 number 1, p 5-9
This article discusses single term undergraduate mineralogy course completion of a project involving the characterization and identification of mineral unknowns. These identifications are based on physical properties, unit cell parameters or d-spacings determined from powder X-ray diffraction scans, chemical composition determined on an electron microbeam instrument, and optical properties determined with a petrographic microscope. Each phase of the project is timed to compliment the sequence of concepts covered in mineralogy lecture and lab. Such a project serves to illustrate applications of methods discussed in lecture and to pique the interest of students for pursuing mineralogic research projects later in their careers.