The content of this chapter "is basically what we hope students will remember 10 years from now. As we like to say in class, this is the guts of mineralogy. The point of this chapter is to provide some fairly basic content that reappears on our learning spiral time and time again…. The best way to understand mineralogical concepts is first to have a basic grasp of the vocabulary. Thus this chapter contains the bottom elements on the spirals in the Preface."
The Essence of Mineralogy presents the fundamental building blocks of mineralogy. These include the five basic characteristics of a mineral, chemical elements such as the silicon oxygen tetrahedra, anions and cations, crystal systems and classes, optical systems, and the most abundant minerals in Earth's crust.
Topics covered in Chapter 1 include:
• What’s a Mineral?
• Chemical Elements
• Crystal Systems
• Optical Classes
• The Big Ten Minerals
The Mineralogy and Optical Mineralogy Series is specifically designed to take full advantage of digital media technology to empower students and teachers of mineralogy. Using color photographs, illustrations, movies, 3D models that can be rotated, interactive diagrams, and review questions, this series makes a challenging subject approachable. Also, each chapter in the series is available separately allowing the reader to pick and choose only those chapters they need for their specific course.