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MINERALS LECTURE

Elements
Substances that cannot be broken down into stable material by any means.
Identified as kinds of atoms.

Minerals
Solid, naturally occurring earth materials with crystal structure and definite
chemical composition

Rocks
Solid, naturally occurring components of our plant that occur as masses and are
almost always composed of different combinations of minerals. Rare and atypical
rocks, composed of non-mineral materials include obsidian, pumice [glassy
volcanic rocks] and coal [metamorphosed organic material].

Structure and Properties of Atoms

Nucleus
PROTONS - dense, positively charged
No. of protons = ATOMIC NUMBER of the element

NEUTRONS- same mass, no charge

ELECTRONS
Negative electronic charge
Orbit the nucleus, forming “clouds”
Shells or energy levels
Outermost shell - VALENCE ELECTRONS – bonding

Naturally, atoms have the same number of protons and electrons

Bonding

Valence electrons range from


1 (eg. H, Na, K), to 8
First shell has 2
Otherwise, valence shell is stable when it has 8 electrons
(Noble gasses have 8, and are INERT)
Chemical Bonds

Result in full shell of 8 electrons

Transferred = IONIC bond


Shared = COVALENT bond

Ionic Bonding

Transfer of electrons to another atom, filling its shell,


Eg. Na and Cl
Note that after transfer, the atoms are now charged Na+ and Cl-

Charged atoms are called IONs , and when bonded they form
IONIC COMPOUNDS
These are ions that are regularly arranged, and have an overall
neutral charge.

They have dramatically different properties than their formative


elements – eg NaCl

Ionic bonds are very weak, and often may be broken by dissolving the ionic
compound in water.

Covalent Bonds

Result of atoms sharing electrons


Eg. O2, H2 and Cl2 are stable, naturally occurring molecules

Example: Chlorine molecule, with shared pair of electrons;


Note that both atoms now have full outer shells of 8 electrons

These are much stronger bonds than ionic bonds

The silicate minerals, most common, have many covalent bonds between Silicon
and Oxygen

LOOK at dot diagram, how many oxygens would have to bond with Si to form
a stable molecule? We’ll see SiO4 again soon.

Metallic Bonding

Valence electrons migrate freely between the atoms


Metallic ions form many other complex molecules that are important to
mineralology.

Isotopes and Radioactive Decay

The mass number of an element is the total weight of its protons and neutrons
These each have about 1 atomic mass unit of weight, whereas
An electron has about 1/2,000 of an AMU

Isotopes= Elements with the same number of protons, but different numbers of neutrons

Two kinds: stable and radioactive

Eg.: Carbon has three isotopes; all have 6 protons and 4 valence electrons:
12
C, 13C = stable carbon
14
C = radiocarbon

Radioisotopes decay through time. The rate of decay is given by the half-life of
the isotope, the time for half of the mass to be lost to decay.
14 14
C to N = 5730 years
40 40
K to Ar = 1.3 billion years

important for dating in geology.

Mineral Properties
Hand Specimen In Field
Color Color/luster
Crystal form Cleavage
Cleavage Hardness
Hardness Reaction to HCl
Fracture
Reaction to HCl
Luster
Streak
Specific gravity
Mineral Groups
Silicates
Light
Quartz
Feldspar Group
Clay minerals

Dark
Olivine
Pyroxene group
Amphibole group
Micas
Biotite
Muscovite

Oxides
Carbonates
Sulfates
Halides
Sulfides
Native Elements