Identifying Minerals with Chemical and Crystallographic DataKent Ratajeski
Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT
Published Jan. 25, 2005
In this exercise, crystal structure data for a variety of unknown minerals are downloaded and entered into a visualization program (either XtalDraw or CrystalMaker). Through a series of directed questions for each unknown, students investigate and manipulate the crystal structure to gather information about its possible identity. This exercise builds on a wide variety of content normally covered over an entire introductory mineralogy course, and could be used as a self-study exercise to help mineralogy students prepare for a comprehensive final exam.