Unit 4 Lesson 2

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Published on August 2, 2009

Author: bsndev

Source: authorstream.com

Unit 4, Lesson 2:  Unit 4, Lesson 2 Minerals What is a mineral?:  What is a mineral? A mineral is a naturally occurring, inorganic solid that has a definite chemical composition and crystal structure. Five key factors in that definition: Occurs naturally in nature Inorganic, or not made from once living things Must be a solid, with a definite volume and shape Must be either an element or compound Has a crystal structure (regular repeating pattern) Where do minerals come from?:  Where do minerals come from? Many minerals come from magma, the molten rock beneath the Earth’s surface When magma cools, crystals are formed The faster it cools, the smaller the crystals form Crystals also form when compounds dissolve in liquids, like water Examples of this origin are rock salt and calcite How are minerals identified?:  How are minerals identified? Minerals have certain physical properties that can be used to identify them. Color Luster Hardness Streak Density Crystal Shape Cleavage and Fracture Special properties Color:  Color The color of a mineral is an easily observed physical property Color is not always a reliable way to identify minerals because: Sometimes the colors change as a result of exposure to heat, cold, radiation and/or pollution Many minerals come in a variety of colors Click here to see a color chart of minerals Luster:  Luster Describes the way a mineral reflects light from its surface (or how shiny it is) Some are very shiny, like silver, gold, copper and graphite Minerals that do not reflect much light are then described using other terms, like brilliant, glassy, silky, dull or pearly Click here to see luster Hardness:  Hardness The ability of a mineral to resist being scratched The Mohs Hardness Scale is often used as a benchmark to rate hardness The Mohs scale ranges from 1-10, where a “1” is very soft, like talc, and “10” is extremely hard, like diamond Click here to see the Mohs Scale Streak:  Streak The color of the powder scraped off a mineral when it is rubbed against a hard, rough surface The substance must be rubbed against a mineral with a lower Mohs rating than itself in order to leave a streak Click here to see streak examples Density:  Density The amount of matter in a given space, expressed as a mass per unit voume, such as grams per cubic centimeter (g/cm3) The density of a mineral is always the same, no matter the size of the sample Crystal Shape:  Crystal Shape There are six basic shapes of crystals Cubic Hexagonal Orthorhombic Monoclinic Tetragonal Triclinic Click here to see these shapes Cleavage and Fracture:  Cleavage and Fracture Used to describe the way a mineral breaks Cleavage is the tendency of a mineral to split along flat surfaces. Fracture describes how it breaks along rough or jagged surfaces Click to see how cleavage and fracture differ from mineral to mineral Special Properties:  Special Properties Magnetism Feel Taste Acid test Click here to learn more about these other properties Uses of Minerals:  Uses of Minerals Metallic minerals are very useful iron is used in making steel Copper is used for pipes and electrical wire Aluminum is used in making cans and foils Silver and gold are used often in jewelry Brass is often used to make instruments Gemstones Diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires are known as precious stones, and are used often in the making of jewelry

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