|Where do the properties of minerals come from,
apart from the elements that create it does its
formation process or its surroundings affect the
mineral's properties? What are some examples?
|Question Date: 2007-11-21|
Mineral properties are determined by the
structure of the crystal lattice that makes up the
mineral. So, you know how water ice forms those
beautiful hexagonal crystals? That's because the
way water molecules align themselves in the
crystal happens in a hexagonal,columner way, with
a repeating hexagonal unit of crystal.
The properties of a mineral ultimately relate
to the atoms that make it up and MOST IMPORTANTLY,
the way the atoms are ARRANGED.Graphite is soft
and has a black streak... diamond is very hard...
this comes about because the atoms of Carbon in
graphite are weakly linked to each other whereas
in diamond the covalent bonds are very strong.
The properties come from the combination of the
elements that make the mineral, plus the structure
that they are in. For example,graphite and
diamond are both made of the same material (pure
carbon), but the atoms are arranged in a different
structure, so they have very different properties.
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