A thin section of carbonate rock that was quenched from a partially molten state. (Image by Prof. J. Brian Evans.)
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to crystalline structure, crystal chemistry, and bonding in rock-forming minerals. It introduces the theory relating crystal structure and crystal symmetry to physical properties such as refractive index, elastic modulus, and seismic velocity. It surveys the distribution of silicate, oxide, and metallic minerals in the interiors and on the surfaces of planets, and discusses the processes that led to their formation. It also addresses why diamonds are hard and why micas split into thin sheets.