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Physical Properties of Minerals In addition to the characteristics of minerals which are required for a substance to be a mineral, there are physical properties.

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Presentation on theme: "Physical Properties of Minerals In addition to the characteristics of minerals which are required for a substance to be a mineral, there are physical properties."— Presentation transcript:

1 Physical Properties of Minerals In addition to the characteristics of minerals which are required for a substance to be a mineral, there are physical properties that help us determine which mineral is which. (Review: What are the fives characteristics of minerals?)

2 1. Hardness How easily the surface of a mineral can be scratched –Harder minerals can scratch softer ones –Can use Mohs Hardness Scale (1 to 10) 1 = talc 10 = diamond

3 2. Color, Transparency, Luster Color cannot positively identify a mineral. The same mineral may have many different colors Both of these are the mineral flourite

4 Transparency –Transparent: when you can see clearly through it –Translucent: light comes through it but you cannot see clearly through it –Opaque: no light comes through

5 Luster: how a mineral looks or reflects light –Examples: glassy, metallic, pearly, waxy, earthy

6 3. Streak Many minerals will leave a colored powder when they are rubbed against an unglazed ceramic tile (streak plate) – called the streak

7 4. Cleavage and Fracture Cleavage: if a mineral breaks or splits apart with smooth surfaces in certain directions Fracture: if a mineral breaks with a rough or jagged surface

8 5. Specific Gravity Each mineral has a unique specific gravity which is a measure of density

9 Other Properties Reaction to HCl Double Refraction – makes double image Magnetism Angle between crystal faces

10 Some minerals are ORES A mineral is an ore if it contains a useful substance that can be mined at a profit. For example, hematite contains iron Bauxite contains aluminum (used in our foils, etc.) YouTube video on the history of aluminum mining: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAKK4 UIQryg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAKK4 UIQryg

11 Gems Gems are valuable minerals prized for rarity and beauty Examples?


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