Identifying minerals
(with slides from ‘duncanpatti’ and ‘ms. Wells’)
 A mineral:
 1. Occurs naturally (not man-made)
 2. is a solid
 3. is a chemical compound arranged in an
orderly patte...
Properties of Minerals:
Which are the most important?
 Streak
 Luster
 Cleavage or Fracture
 Density
 Hardness
Physical Properties of Minerals
(can be used to identify the mineral)
Color
 Can be misleading
 Can vary with the type o...
Physical Properties of Minerals
(can be used to identify the mineral)
Luster
 Surface reflection
 metallic = shiny like
...
Metallic Luster
Nonmetallic Luster
Physical Properties of Minerals
(can be used to identify the mineral)
Streak
 The color of the powdered
form of the miner...
Streak…can help identify quartz
http://www.childrensmuseum.org/geomysteries/cube/b3.html
Breaking Properties:
Cleavage or Fracture
• Cleavage – mineral
breaks along a flat
surface or into
sheets
• Fracture – whe...
 Hardness = resistance to scratching
 Hardness does not concern brittleness
 (brittle = breaks apart easily)
 e.g. gla...
Physical Properties of Minerals
(can be used to identify the mineral)
Hardness
 How easily a mineral scratches
materials
...
Talc(Mg3Si4O10(OH)2)
Gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O)
Calcite CaCO3
Fluorite CaF2
Apatite Ca5(PO4)3(F,Cl,OH)
Feldspar KAlSi3O8 - NaAlSi3O8 -
CaAl2Si2O8
Quartz SiO2
Topaz Al2SiO4(F,OH)2
Corundum Al2O3
 (do you really need a picture?)
Diamond
 cleavage: tendency of a mineral to split
easily or separate along flat surfaces
e.g. mica: 1 cleavage
feldspar: 2 cleava...
Physical Properties of Minerals
(can be used to identify the mineral)
Cleavage & Fracture
• The way the mineral breaks
• C...
Cleavage or Fracture?
1.
4.
3.
2.
 Specific gravity: “how dense is the mineral
compared to water?”
 Nearly all minerals are denser than water.
Mineral tes...
 If a mineral is denser than water, its
specific gravity is greater than 1.
 If it is less dense than water, its specifi...
Extra Special Properties
1. Fluorescence
• Fluorescent color under ultraviolet (UV) light
2. Magnetic
• Attract magnets
3....
Fluorescence
Magnetic
Carbonate Acid Reaction
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Es3

  1. 1. Identifying minerals (with slides from ‘duncanpatti’ and ‘ms. Wells’)
  2. 2.  A mineral:  1. Occurs naturally (not man-made)  2. is a solid  3. is a chemical compound arranged in an orderly pattern (crystals)  4. is inorganic (not made from dead plants or animals)  5. Is an element or a compound What are minerals?
  3. 3. Properties of Minerals: Which are the most important?  Streak  Luster  Cleavage or Fracture  Density  Hardness
  4. 4. Physical Properties of Minerals (can be used to identify the mineral) Color  Can be misleading  Can vary with the type of impurities
  5. 5. Physical Properties of Minerals (can be used to identify the mineral) Luster  Surface reflection  metallic = shiny like metal  non-metallic = dull, non-shiny surface Pyrite has a metallic luster Calcite has a non-metallic luster
  6. 6. Metallic Luster
  7. 7. Nonmetallic Luster
  8. 8. Physical Properties of Minerals (can be used to identify the mineral) Streak  The color of the powdered form of the mineral  The color of the streak can be different than the mineral  Minerals must be softer than the streak plate
  9. 9. Streak…can help identify quartz http://www.childrensmuseum.org/geomysteries/cube/b3.html
  10. 10. Breaking Properties: Cleavage or Fracture • Cleavage – mineral breaks along a flat surface or into sheets • Fracture – when a mineral breaks with lots of jagged edges
  11. 11.  Hardness = resistance to scratching  Hardness does not concern brittleness  (brittle = breaks apart easily)  e.g. glass is brittle (breaks easily when dropped), but it is harder than copper, i.e. it can scratch copper.  copper cannot scratch glass Mineral test #1: hardness
  12. 12. Physical Properties of Minerals (can be used to identify the mineral) Hardness  How easily a mineral scratches materials  Mohs Hardness Scale • Scale from 1 (softest) to 10 (hardest) • Test by seeing if the mineral can scratch different objects (like human fingernail, copper, penny, glass, steel file)
  13. 13. Talc(Mg3Si4O10(OH)2)
  14. 14. Gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O)
  15. 15. Calcite CaCO3
  16. 16. Fluorite CaF2
  17. 17. Apatite Ca5(PO4)3(F,Cl,OH)
  18. 18. Feldspar KAlSi3O8 - NaAlSi3O8 - CaAl2Si2O8
  19. 19. Quartz SiO2
  20. 20. Topaz Al2SiO4(F,OH)2
  21. 21. Corundum Al2O3
  22. 22.  (do you really need a picture?) Diamond
  23. 23.  cleavage: tendency of a mineral to split easily or separate along flat surfaces e.g. mica: 1 cleavage feldspar: 2 cleavages calcite: 3 cleavages galena: 3 cleavages Mineral test #2: cleavage
  24. 24. Physical Properties of Minerals (can be used to identify the mineral) Cleavage & Fracture • The way the mineral breaks • Cleavage—minerals break along smooth, flat surfaces and every fragment has the same general shape • Fracture—minerals that break at random with rough or jagged edges
  25. 25. Cleavage or Fracture? 1. 4. 3. 2.
  26. 26.  Specific gravity: “how dense is the mineral compared to water?”  Nearly all minerals are denser than water. Mineral test #3: specific gravity
  27. 27.  If a mineral is denser than water, its specific gravity is greater than 1.  If it is less dense than water, its specific gravity is less than 1.  If it is equally dense as water, its specific gravity equals 1. specific gravity, cont’d
  28. 28. Extra Special Properties 1. Fluorescence • Fluorescent color under ultraviolet (UV) light 2. Magnetic • Attract magnets 3. Acid reaction • Carbon dioxide gas bubbles off when you drop acid on them • Carbonates!
  29. 29. Fluorescence
  30. 30. Magnetic
  31. 31. Carbonate Acid Reaction

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