Introduction to X-ray diffraction
Students collect X-ray diffraction patterns for the experimental products obtained in a lab on Reagents, Compositions, Weight Loss.
This exercise is designed for a mid/upper-level undergraduate geology course on the principles of mineralogy.
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
Students should have knowledge of basic chemistry and of minerals equivalent to what they would learn in an introductory geology class.
How the activity is situated in the course
This activity is the 8th of 36 mineralogy exercises and is used towards the beginning of the course.
Content/concepts goals for this activity
- Learn to identify minerals based on X-ray diffracton results.
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
- Synthesize X-ray diffraction results with weight loss experiments conducted earlier.
Other skills goals for this activity
- Learn to operate an X-ray diffractometer.
Description of the activity/assignment
Students collect X-ray diffraction patterns for the experimental products obtained earlier in a lab on Reagents, Compositions, Weight Loss. Students break up into groups and each group will prepare and X-ray a sample. Students use the results to further interpret the previous heating experiments and then write a report that explains their X-ray results.
Determining whether students have met the goalsMore information about assessment tools and techniques.
Download teaching materials and tips
- Laboratory exercise on Reagents, Compositions, Weight Loss.