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Last updated:

April 8, 2022


Unlimited Duration

This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

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Rocks are made of minerals and, as minerals are natural crystals, the geological world is mostly a crystalline world. This course, Minerals and the crystalline state introduce the study of minerals and crystal structures, using online text and interactive activities, including questions and answers, video clips, slide casts 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.

Course Curriculum

    • 1 Introducing crystals 00:10:00
    • 2 States of matter 00:10:00
    • 3 Physical properties of minerals in hand specimen 00:30:00
    • 3.1 Crystal shape 00:20:00
    • 3.2 Colour 00:10:00
    • 3.3 Lustre 00:10:00
    • 3.4 Cleavage 00:20:00
    • 3.5 Density 00:20:00
    • 3.6 Hardness 00:25:00
    • 4 The atomic structure of crystals 00:03:00
    • 4.1 Metallic structures and bonding 00:05:00
    • 4.2 Ionic structures and bonding 00:10:00
    • 4.3 Covalent structures and bonding 00:20:00
    • 5 Crystal defects and twinning 00:20:00
    • 6 Crystal symmetry and shape 00:05:00
    • 6.1 Crystal symmetry 00:30:00
    • 6.2 Crystal lattices and unit cells 00:25:00
    • 6.3 Crystal systems 00:30:00
    • Conclusion 00:20:00

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