Mineral Physical Properties Chart PHYSICAL Definition* Testing Method PROPERTY Examine the mineral for areas where the mineral is Breakage of a mineral broken. Look for areas where the light reflects from Cleavage along planes of weakness planar surfaces. This can be easily confused with a in the crystal structure. crystal face and is the most difficult properties for students to master. Visible light spectrum Look at the sample and determine its color - white, Color radiation reflected from a black, green, clear, etc. mineral. Examine and describe the geometric shape of the Geometric shape of a Crystal Form crystal or mineral. mineral - cubic, hexagonal, etc. Not commonly seen in most introductory lab samples. Breakage of a mineral, Examine the mineral for areas where the mineral is not along planes of Fracture weakness in the crystal broken. Describe the breakage as either irregular or conchoidal (has the appearance of broken glass) structure. Use minerals of known hardness from the Mohs Hardness Kits. Scratch the unknown mineral with a Resistance to scratching known hardness to determine which mineral is Hardness or abrasion. harder. Continue doing this with harder or softer minerals from the kit until the hardness is determined. Look at the sample to determine if the mineral is Character of the light Luster reflected by a mineral. metallic in appearance (looks like a chunk of metal) or non-metallic (doesn't look like a chunk of metal). Electromagnetic force Use a magnet to determine if the magnet is attracted Magnetism generated by an object or to the sample. electrical field. Chemical interaction of Place one small drop of HCl on a sample a watch for Reaction to hydrochloric acid and a reaction - effervesces (bubbles). HCl calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Ratio of the mass of a Generally not determined in an introductory lab. Look Specific mineral to the mass of an this information up in your lab manual once the Gravity equal volume of water. mineral has been identified. Grind a small amount of a mineral into a powder on a Color of the mineral when Streak it is powdered. porcelain streak plate and determine the color of the powder. Nerve ending reaction in Lick the mineral. (not recommended in an Taste the tongue to different introductory lab - you don't know who has handled or chemicals. licked the sample before you). Requires special equipment such as a UV lamp and Other Fluorescence, geiger counter. These are not commonly tested for in Properties Radioactivity an introductory lab.
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