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Minerals and the crystalline state
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.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Introducing crystals
- 2 States of matter
- 3 Physical properties of minerals in hand specimen
- 4 The atomic structure of crystals
- 5 Crystal defects and twinning
- 6 Crystal symmetry and shape
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About this free course
10 hours study
Level 2: Intermediate
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