Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mineral Characteristics Lab

We have just recently begun a new unit that focuses on Minerals.  One reason why they are so important for humans are for there gem or ore qualities.  Gems are minerals that can be used for jewelry.  Ores are the minerals that can be mined for a profit.

Our first lab of the unit was spent looking at different physical properties of minerals and identifying minerals because of these properties.  Using four different sets of minerals, we looked at properties including hardness, cleavage and/or fracture, tenacity and streak.

Mineral Hardness --- a measure of how a mineral resists being scratched.

Cleavage --- the tendency of a mineral to break along smooth, flat planes.

Fracture --- the tendecy of a mineral to break unevenly or irregularly.

Tenacity --- a measure of how a mineral resists acts of destruction like breaking, crushing, bending, etc.

Streak --- the color of a mineral in it's powdered form.