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33 Cards in this Set

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What is a mineral?
Any naturally occurring inorganic solid that possesses an orderly crystalline structure and a definite chemical composition.
Naturally occuring
This tells us that a mineral forms by natural, geologic processes.
Solid
Must be solid at temperatures normally experienced at Earth's surface.
Orderly crystalline structure
atoms are arranged in orderly, repetitive manner
What does amorphous mean?
without form
definite chemical composition
most minerals are chemical compounds made up of two or more elements.
Generally inorganic
made of inorganic crystalline solids
What is a rock?
Any solid mass of mineral, or mineral-like, matter that occurs naturally as part of our planet.
What does aggregate mean?
That the minerals are joined in such a way that the properties of each mineral are retained.
What is an element?
a large collection of electrically neutral atoms, all having the same atomic number.
What is an atom?
The smallest particle of matter that retains the essential characteristics of an element.
What is an energy level (shells)?
The individual electrons are located at given distances from the nucleus in these regions.
What is an atomic number?
The number of protons in an atom's nucleus.
What is a compound?
It is composed of two or more elements bonded together in definite proportions.
What is an ion?
Atoms that have an electrical charge because of a gain or loss of electrons.
What is the mass number?
The total of an atom's neutrons and protons in the nucleus.
What is are isotopes?
Variants of the same element.
What is radioactive decay?
When a decaying atom actively radiates energy and particles.
What is crystal form?
The external expression of a mineral's internal orderly arrangement of atoms.
What is luster?
The appearance or quality of light reflected from the surface of a mineral.
What is color?
An obvious feature of a mineral, it is ofter an unreliable diagnostic property.
What is streak?
The color of a mineral in its powered form, which is a much more reliable indication of color.
What is hardness?
One of most useful diagnostic properties. It is the resistance of a mineral to abrasion or scratching.
What is Mohs scale?
The standard hardness scale that geologists use.
10=hardest
1=softest
What is cleavage?
The tendency of a mineral to break along planes of weak bonding.
What is fracture?
What minerals do that don't exhibit cleavage when broken.
What is specific gravity?
It compares the weight of a mineral to the weight of an equal volume of water.
What are the eight elements that represent most of the minerals of earth's crust?
Oxygen, silicon, aluminum, iron, calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium.
What are silicates?
it is the most common mineral group. It is made when silicon and oxygen combine.
What is Silicon-oxygen tetrahedron?
The fundamental building blocks of silicates. Consists of 4 oxygen surrounding a smaller silicon atom.
What are mineral resources?
Earth's storehouse of useful minerals that can be recovered for use.
What are reserves?
Identified deposits from which mineral can be extracted profitably.
What is ore?
Useful metallic minerals that can be mined at a profit.