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What is a mineral?
A mineral is a naturally occurring solid chemical substance formed through biogeochemical processes, having characteristic chemical composition, highly ordered atomic structure, and specific physical properties.
How is a mineral different froma rock?
a rock is an aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids and does not have a specific chemical composition.
How complex is the composition of minerals?
Minerals range in composition from pure elements and simple salts to very complex silicates with thousands of known forms.
What is the study of minerals called?
What is needed in order for something to be classified as a mineral?
To be classified as a true mineral, a substance must be a solid and have a crystalline structure.
It must also be a naturally occurring, homogeneous substance with a defined chemical composition.
What is the International Mineralogical Association definition of a mineral?
A mineral is an element or chemical compound that is normally crystalline and that has been formed as a result of geological processes.
- Therefore, biogenic substances are chemical compounds produced entirely by biological processes without a geological component (e.g., urinary calculi, oxalate crystals in plant tissues, shells of marine molluscs, etc.) and are not regarded as minerals. However, if geological processes were involved in the genesis of the compound, then the product can be
- accepted as a mineral.
Do other definitions include biogenic substances as minerals?
Yes. Inclusion of biogenic minerals requires a expanded definition of a mineral as: "An element or compound, amorphous or crystalline, formed through biogeochemical processes."
What is the internal structure of a mineral?
A crystal structure is the orderly geometric spatial arrangement of atoms in the internal structure of a mineral.
How are crystals arranged?
There are 14 basic crystal lattice arrangements of atoms in three dimensions, and these are referred to as the 14 "Bravais lattices". Each of these lattices can be classified into one of the seven crystal systems, and all crystal structures currently recognized fit in one Bravais lattice and one crystal system.