An introduction to minerals and rocks under the microscope
An introduction to minerals and rocks under the microscope

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An introduction to minerals and rocks under the microscope

1.3 Physical properties of minerals in hand specimen

Physical properties, such as colour and density, are those that can be observed without causing any change in the chemical composition of a specimen, whereas chemical properties determine how a substance behaves in a chemical reaction. Many of the physical properties of minerals can be predicted from a detailed knowledge of their crystal structures, which can be obtained by various analytical techniques. Alternatively, physical properties can be used to infer particular aspects of a mineral's internal structure.

Several physical properties of minerals can be readily observed from hand specimens, and can be used for recognising and distinguishing different minerals.

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