Cutting Edge > Courses > Mineralogy > Teaching Activities > Introduction to the SEM/EDS or "Every Compositon Tells a Story"

Introduction to the SEM/EDS or "Every Composition Tells a Story"

John T Cheney and Peter D. Crowley
,
Amherst College
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This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

  • Scientific Accuracy
  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
  • Pedagogic Effectiveness
  • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
  • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.

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: May 9, 2008

Summary

This lab is designed as an introduction to the investigation of minerals with the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and the X-ray analyzer (Energy Dispersive Spectrometer - EDS). We will explore the relationships among the optical image, the backscattered electron image, and the chemical composition of minerals in thin-sections that we have studied optically. Specifically we will examine the interaction of a mineral with a high energy (20 kv) electron beam focused to a diameter of a few microns. Three different detectors of the SEM/EDS will be used to study minerals in thin sections. Additional concepts that may be introduced in this lab include: formula calculations, solid solution, exsolution, and chemical zoning.

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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

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

In this activity, students will examine the interaction of a mineral with a high energy (20 kv) electron beam focused to a diameter of a few microns. Three different detectors of the SEM/EDS will be used to study minerals in thin sections. Additional concepts that may be introduced in this lab include: formula calculations, solid solution, exsolution, and chemical zoning.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

This lab is designed as an introduction to the investigation of minerals with the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and the X-ray analyzer (Energy Dispersive Spectrometer - EDS). We will explore the relationships among the optical image, the backscattered electron image, and the chemical composition of minerals in thin-sections that we have studied optically. Specifically we will examine the interaction of a mineral with a high energy (20 kv) electron beam focused to a diameter of a few microns. Three different detectors of the SEM/EDS will be used to study minerals in thin sections. Additional concepts that may be introduced in this lab include: formula calculations, solid solution, exsolution, and chemical zoning.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Students have met the goals of this activity if they perform the assigned tasks and correctly answer the embedded questions.

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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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