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Cutting Edge > Mineralogy > Teaching Activities > Laboratory Exercises and Demonstrations with the Spindle Stage

Laboratory Exercises and Demonstrations with the Spindle Stage

Mickey E. Gunter
,
University of Idaho
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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: May 9, 2008

Summary

The goal of this lab session is to introduce you to the spindle stage and its possible uses in an undergraduate mineralogy lab. A spindle stage is a one-axis rotation device that mounts on a polarizing microscope and is used to aid in the measurement of optical properties of single crystals. At the undergraduate level, it can be used to identify minerals and to demonstrate the relationships among grain shape, retardation, and interference figures. A natural extension of these uses is undergraduate research on the optical properties of minerals.

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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 be able to use a petrographic microscope.

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 is designed to show students how to use a spindle stage to look at crystals.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Other skills goals for this activity

This activity aids in students' ability to operate analytical equipment and to write about their findings.

Description of the activity/assignment

The goal of this lab session is to introduce you to the spindle stage and its possible uses in an undergraduate mineralogy lab. A spindle stage is a one-axis rotation device that mounts on a polarizing microscope and is used to aid in the measurement of optical properties of single crystals. At the undergraduate level, it can be used to identify minerals and to demonstrate the relationships among grain shape, retardation, and interference figures. A natural extension of these uses is undergraduate research on the optical properties of minerals.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Students have successfully completed this assignment if they answer the questions within the assignment thoroughly and accurately.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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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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