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Minerals - Essay Example

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This paper is about minerals. People might sometimes think that deep below us nothing really is going on. They view the earth as just dirt, with no science or work undergoing beneath their layer of grass on their lawns. These people could not be more wrong. …
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Download file to see previous pages This paper describes the classifications of minerals. Minerals can be classified according to various physical characteristics such as hardness, luster, and even their color. They can also be classified by their chemical and reaction properties. These properties can help identify unknown minerals, as well as identifying the minerals in the composition of an unknown rock. All of these characteristics are used in the helping of classifying and organizing the wide array of different and unique rocks and minerals that are found above, below, and hidden throughout the physical boundaries of planet Earth. To be truly classified as a mineral, the substance must be a “solid and have a crystal structure. It must also be an inorganic, naturally-occurring, homogeneous substance with a defined chemical composition”. A crystal structure is a specific arrangement of atoms inside the mineral. Crystal structures can be seen using X-rays if the mineral composition is too small. There are over 4,000 different types of minerals, of these 150 called "common," 50 are "occasional," and the rest are "rare" to "extremely rare". The first physical classification of minerals is the factor of crystal structure. A mineral may have a small or large crystal structure, and the size, shape, and grain type of the crystal all can help classify the mineral. The second physical classification is the hardness of the mineral. With a diamond being the hardest mineral, and talc being the softness, a scale is used to determine where a mineral’s hardness lies. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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