T-X Phase Diagrams

Dexter Perkins
,
University of North Dakota
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Summary

This is a 15 page tutorial and problem set designed to get students familiar with T-X diagrams, their implications, and uses.

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Context

Audience

I use this in my Petrology course. It comes quite late in the semester after students are familiar with PT diagrams.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Besides understanding the basics of P-T phase diagrams, students should understand the phase rule and its implications and they should be familiar with Schreinemakers analysis.

How the activity is situated in the course

This is one of many in-class activities that my students do during the semester. I sometimes assign it as homework too. But, always, it is a group project.

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

This is a 15 page tutorial and problem set designed to get students familiar with T-X diagrams, their implications, and uses.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Interpreting phase diagrams, understanding the phase rule and Schreinemakers analysis, etc., require a certain amount of visualization. In addition, using diagrams to solve problems is often not a linear process. So, this project helps develop thinking and visualization skills.

Other skills goals for this activity

This project is MUCH more successful if it is done in groups. Students learn to rely on each other and the insights of their peers.

Description of the activity/assignment

This is a 15 page tutorial and problem set designed to get students familiar with T-X diagrams, their implications, and uses. Students start by reading but, after 10-15 minutes, the room becomes noisy as they work their way through the questions at the end. Often there are "Eureka" moments as they all of a sudden grasp some fundamental principles. It is also interesting to hear them try to explain these insights to others.

Determining whether students have met the goals

We go over the assignment as a group and discuss each question.

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