Teaching Mineralogy with Crystal Structure Databases and Visualization Software
Integrating Research and Education > Crystallography > Directed Discovery of Crystal Structures

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This page first made public: Jul 14, 2005

Directed Discovery of Crystal Structures

David Mogk and Kent Ratajeski
Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT
Published Jan. 25, 2005


Halite crystal structure. Details

This contribution is modified from a published exercise "Directed Discovery of Crystal Structures Using Ball-and-Stick Models" [Mogk, 1997] . While the published exercise is based on student exploration of traditional ball-and-stick models of crystal structures, this modified version uses a similar "discovery-based" approach to teach the spatial relationships and crystal-chemical rules that govern the crystal structures of common minerals and crystalline solids, but instead uses the latest web-based crystallographic information and visualization programs. A few changes in the content have been made from the published exercise, mainly to accomodate the new digital media.

This exercise is one of several examples featured in the Teaching Mineralogy with Crystal Structure Databases and Visualization Software module at SERC. Each example is designed to give instructors and students direct practice for using crystal structure databases and visualization programs to teach crystallography and mineralogy in the earth sciences. Students should begin with the Directions.

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