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|Matter and Minerals|
Matter and Minerals begins with an explanation of the difference between rocks and minerals. The brief comparison is followed by a formal definition of a mineral. Elements, atoms, compounds, ions, and atomic bonding are discussed. Also investigated are isotopes and radioactivity. Following descriptions of the properties used in mineral identification, the silicate and nonsilicate mineral groups are examined. The chapter concludes with a presentation of mineral resources, reserves, and ores.
After reading, studying, and discussing the chapter, students should be able to:
- Explain the difference between a mineral and a rock.
- Describe the basic structure of an atom and explain how atoms combine.
- List the most important elements that compose Earth’s continental crust.
- Explain isotopes and radioactive decay.
- Describe the physical properties of minerals and how they can be used for mineral identification.
- List the basic compositions and structures of the silicate minerals.
- List the economic use of some nonsilicate minerals.
- Distinguish among mineral resources, reserves, and ores.
|I. Minerals: the building blocks of rocks
A. Definition of mineral
1. Naturally occurring
4. Possess an orderly internal structure of atoms
5. Have a definite chemical composition
B. Rocks are aggregates (mixtures) of minerals
II. Composition and structure of minerals
1. Basic building blocks of minerals
2. More than 100 are known
1. Smallest particles of matter 2. Have all the characteristics of an element
III. Structure of atoms
|A. Nucleus contains
1. Protons—positive electrical charge
2. Neutrons—electrically neutral
B. Energy levels or shells
1. Surround nucleus
2. Contain electrons—negative electrical charge
C. Atomic number, the number of protons in an atom’s nucleus, identifies element
D. Bonding of atoms
1. Compounds are formed from two or more elements
2. Ions are atoms that have gained or lost electrons
1. Vary in the number of neutrons
2. Have different mass numbers—the sum of the neutrons plus protons
3. Many isotopes are radioactive and emit energy and particles
- Properties of minerals
- Crystal form
- Specific gravity
- Other properties
- Double refraction
- Reaction to hydrochloric acid
- A few dozen minerals are called the rockforming minerals
- The eight elements that compose most rock-forming minerals are oxygen (O), silicon (Si), aluminum (Al), iron (Fe), calcium (Ca), sodium (Na), potassium
(K), and magnesium (Mg)
- The most abundant atoms in Earth’s crust are
- Oxygen (46.6% by weight)
- Silicon (27.7% by weight) C. Mineral groups Rock-forming silicates
- Most common mineral group
Answers to the Earth System Questions Chapter 2
- Contain the silicon–oxygen
- Four oxygen atoms surrounding a much smaller silicon atom
- The silicon–oxygen tetrahedra join together in a variety of ways
- Feldspars are the most plentiful group
- Most silicate minerals crystallize
from molten rock as it cools
- Nonsilicate minerals
- Major groups
- “Native” elements
- Carbonates Major rock-forming group
- Found in limestone and marble
- Halite and gypsum—found in sedimentary rocks
- Many have economic value
- Mineral resources
- Reserves—profitable, identified deposits
- Ores—metallic minerals that can be mined at a profit
- Economic factors may change
- (Answers will vary depending on the mineral commodity selected) 2. (Answers will vary depending on the mineral commodity selected)
Answers to “Give It Some Thought”
- a) mineral – gold is an example of a mineral classified as a native element; b) seawater is not a mineral – minerals by definition are solids; c) quartz is a mineral; d) cubic zirconia is not a mineral – it is not naturally occurring; e) obsidian is not a mineral because it lacks an internal arrangement of atoms, however, it is an igneous rock; f) ruby is a mineral – it is a gemstone variety of the mineral corundum; g) glacial ice is a mineral as it meets all of the criteria; g) amber is not a mineral since it has an organic origin.
Matter and Minerals
- a) The element is uranium. b) 92 electrons c) 146 neutrons
- Sodium is more likely to form chemical bonds because of its tendency to lose one electron, resulting in an overall +1 charge.
- Potassium-39 has 19 protons and 20 neutrons; Potassium-40 has 19 protons and 21 neutrons; Potassium-41 has 19 protons and 22 neutrons
- Specimens A, B, and D have a nonmetallic luster. Specimens C and E have a metallic luster.
- a) 6 b) 3 c) no
- 5 gallons of water = 40 lbs. x 20 (specific gravity of gold) = 800 lbs.
- Answers may vary slightly depending on which websites are utilized by students.
- Answers will vary.