Rocks are made of minerals and, as minerals are natural crystals, the geological world is mostly a crystalline world. This free course, Minerals and the crystalline state, introduces the study of minerals and crystal structures, using online text and interactive activities, including questions and answers, video clips, slidecasts and a Digital Kit.
Course learning outcomes
After studying this course, you should be able to:
give, with an appropriate example, the meaning of the terms phase, phase boundary and phase transformation, and interpret stability fields in terms of pressures and/or temperatures using a phase diagram
describe and recognise, giving examples, various physical properties of minerals, including lustre, cleavage, hardness and density
describe, giving mineral examples, the main differences between metallic, ionic and covalent structures and their type of bonding
explain the significance of various types of defects in crystals
explain the meaning of the terms lattice, unit cell, reflections and rotational symmetry, and how these relate to crystal systems.
You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
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Creative commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence.
However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These
materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions377 and our FAQs378.
Full copyright details can be found in the Acknowledgements section of each week.
For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.
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