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24 Cards in this Set

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The smallest part of matter that still contains the characteristics of an element.
The tendency of a mineral to break along definite planes of weak bonding. Halite cleaves into cubes. Mica cleaves into flat plates.
When chemical bonding joins two or more elements together in definite proportions, the substance is called a compound.
Compound of two or more atoms, the smallest unit of chemical compounds.
A large collection of electrically neutral atoms that all have a nucleus of the same "weight" . . that is the same number of protons in the nucleus.
crystal form
The crystal form is the external expression of a mineral that reflects the orderly internal arrangement of atoms.
A very light particle travelling at high speeds around the nucleus of an atom. Electrons have a negative electrical charge.
energy levels or shells
Specific zones of negative charge around the nucleus of an atom created by the rapid motion of electrons in spherical shells.
Minerals that do not cleave along specific zones of weakness are said to fracture. Fracture surfaces are irregular or smooth and curved. Fracture surfaces are never flat and planar.
ferromagnesian silicates
(dark silicates)
Rock-forming minerals containing iron or magnesium, or both. The minerals are dark in color and have a fairly heavy specific gravity.
The resistance of a mineral to abrasion or scratching.
Varieties of the same element that have different numbers of neutrons.
OMIT - we'll discuss this when we get to geologic time
nonferromagnesian silicates
(light silicates)
Rock-forming minerals which don't contain iron or magnesium, or both. The minerals are light in color and have a relatively light specific gravity (compared to minerals containing iron and magnesium).
The appearance or quality of light reflectance from the surface of a mineral. Minerals that look like metals have a metallic luster, for example.
A naturally occurring inorganic solid with an orderly internal structure and a definite chemical composition. Minerals must be solid, natural substances.
The study of minerals, which are the building blocks of rocks.
Mohs scale
A number scale of hardness for minerals used for comparison to minerals not on the scale. The scale goes from 1 to 10. These are indicators of relative hardness. A mineral of hardness "5" is not "half as hard" as a mineral rated 10 on the scale.
The central part of an atom, containing protons and neutrons. Protons have a positive electrical charge. Neutrons have no electrical charge.
Two minerals with totally different properties but exactly the same chemical composition. Diamond and graphite are polymorphs.
OMIT - we'll discuss this when we get to impact cratering (regular quartz vs coesite)
A solid mass containing a mineral or minerals. A rock containing one mineral is a mono-minerallic rock. A rock containing two or more minerals is a poly-minerallic rock.
silicate mineral
A mineral containing silicon and oxygen which forms the framework of most rocks, especially igenous rocks.
silicon-oxygen tetrahedron
The fundamental building block of rock forming minerals. This structure contains four oxygen atoms which surround a single silicon atom. See Figure 3-10 on page 94 for a digaram.
specific gravity
A relative measure of the weight of a mineral when compared to the weight of an equal volume of water.
The color of the powdered mineral. Softer minerals are easily powdered by rubbing them across an unglazed clay tile in the same way you use a pencil to write on paper.