A.  History of Mineralogy
--click here and then page down to read a brief history of Mineralogy--

B.  Definition and the Nature of Minerals
      -naturally occurring-
                   substances formed in the laboratory are not strictly minerals even though
                   these may have the same name--such an example is diamond             

             -homogeneous solid-
                  a single solid substance which cannot be separated into simpler compounds--

             -inorganic substances-
                  comprised of elements which do not have a composition of C-H-N-O linkage
                  which is organic--diamonds and graphite are comprised solely of carbon atoms
                  which must be considered inoganic-petroleum and coal, even though referred
                   to as mineral resources cannot be minerals because they have an organic
                   composition and petroleum is not solid

             -definite chemical composition-      
                   a mineral is comprised of atoms of an element or elements which must be
                   represented by a chemical formula although this need not be fixed and can
                   vary within strict limits--olivine may have the composition, Mg2SiO4 or
                   Fe2SiO4 and may vary in the amounts of  Mg and Fe, thereby represented as
                   (Mg,Fe)2SiO4 where Mg + Fe = 2

             -ordered atomic arrangement-
                    the same mineral will always have the same ordered atomic arrangement and
                    is like a genetic code for that mineral--mineraloids are substances which
                    resemble minerals but do not have an ordered arrangement of atoms


C.  Overview of The Mineralogy Course
-to better understand the nature of minerals and how to identify them by name, we
                must study in detail specific mineral attributes as:
                     1.   physical properties
                     2.   crystal habits and forms (crystallography)
                     3.  chemical nature
                     4.  nature of atomic arrangement
              -there are specific exercises in lecture and lab to aid in learning this material-

D.  Important References
              -your textbook will act as an important reference--in addition there are very important
               Links on the internet which can supplement the course material--click on the following:

        1.Galaxy Mineral Collection
        2. Excellent and Detailed Mineral Information
        3. Mineralogy Course Resources on the Internet
        4. Internet Course Notes for Mineralogy
            a. at Auburn Univ.
            b. at Rice University
            c at Oregon University
           d. at Colorado University--atomic structures of minerals           
        5. Other Mineralogy Links and Databases--click on a letter

 E. Click Here for Mineral Name Cross Word Game