Cutting Edge > Mineralogy > Teaching Activities > Color in Minerals

Color in Minerals

M. Darby Dyar
,
West Chester University
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This activity was peer reviewed prior to publication in the Teaching Mineralogy Workbook.

This teaching activity was originally published in: Brady, J., Mogk, D. W., and Perkins, D., (editors), 1997, "Teaching Mineralogy," a workbook published by the Mineralogical Society of America, 406 pp. All teaching activities in this volume received two external peer reviews from mineralogy faculty focused on content and pedagogy, and a final review by the co-editors to comply with the publication standards of the Mineralogical Society of America.



This page first made public: Jun 4, 2008

Summary

Why do minerals have color? When is that color diagnostic, and when is it likely to fool you? Why is color important, and what can it tell us about the chemistry of minerals? This exercise will try to answer some of these questions, and to introduce students to the fascinating world of mineral spectroscopy, where chemistry meets mineralogy.

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Context

Audience

This activity is designed for an undergraduate required course in mineralogy and is generally for sophomore or junior level students.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students should have an understanding of basic mineralogy (optical properties) and physics (properties of light).

How the activity is situated in the course

This activity is a stand-alone exercise, but is part of a larger volume of classroom and laboratory activities from "Teaching Mineralogy," a workbook published by the Mineralogical Society of America, Brady, J., Mogk, D. W., and Perkins, D., (editors), 1997,406 pp.

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

This activity aids in student understanding of optical properties of minerals.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

This activity strengthens a student's ability to analyze data.

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

Why do minerals have color? When is that color diagnostic, and when is it likely to fool you? Why is color important, and what can it tell us about the chemistry of minerals? This exercise will try to answer some of these questions, and to introduce students to the fascinating world of mineral spectroscopy, where chemistry meets mineralogy.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Students have met the goals of this activity if they complete the problem set questions thoroughly and accurately.

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Other Materials

Supporting references/URLs

Brady, J., Mogk, D. W., and Perkins, D., (editors), 1997, Teaching Mineralogy, a workbook published by the Mineralogical Society of America, 406 pp.

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