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Alessandro GUALTIERI

Department of Chemical and Geological Sciences

Content class: Mineralogy II

Class: GEOLOGICAL SCIENCES (D.M. 270/04) (Offer 2017)
  • CFU: 6
  • SSD: GEO/06


With the knowledge acquired in the course of base of mineralogy integrated by the more specialised information provided by this course, the student at the end of the course should be able to understand the main phenomena and processes, investigated by the mineralogy techniques of analysis providing local, statistical, and microscopic evidence.


Basic knowledge of structural crystallography: -to know how identify the symmetry of a crystal structure; -to know how determine the crystal system, the point and space group; - to find the Miller indices of reticular planes and axes; - to know the relationship between crystallographic plane distance and unit cell parameters; -to know the atom properties as Z and A and the chemical element oxidation number; -to know the main mineral classes as silicates, carbonates,iron oxides, olivines; -to know the main physical properties of minerals and the scalar and vector quantities.

Course Syllabus

Introduction to the fine structure of the atoms. Review on symmetry in the crystals and the concepts of interaction between electromagnetic waves and crystals. Sources that can be used for the study of crystals. X-ray production and absorption. X-Ray diffraction from an electron, an atom, an ideal crystal, a real crystal. Diffraction direction after Laue and Bragg. Diffraction intensity: the structure factor. Debye and Gandolfi cameras. Powder diffractometer. Qualitative phase analysis. Cell parameters determination. Space group determination. Diffraction Analysis: qualitative-quantitative, structural and microstructural. The Rietveld method. Fundamental relationships between symmetry and physical properties. Electron Microscopy. Spectroscopic analysis (IR, Raman, NMR and Mossbauer). Description of a physical property. Tensor: description and rank. Geometric representation. Principle of Neumann and his analytical description. Variation of physical properties as a function of the size of the crystals. The nanocrystals. The color of the minerals. Phenomena of absorption and transmission. Theory of the crystalline field. Color Centers. Defects in crystals and their influence on the color. Dispersion. Stress and strain at the molecular level. Mechanical Stress. Tensor strain and their transformation matrix. The thermal conductivity: description, tensor nature and relation with the symmetry. Dependence on the temperature and from the field. Thermal Expansion: description and examples in minerals. Transformations, and phase transitions in mineral induced by temperature. Transitions of first and second order. Diffraction at high temperature and thermal analysis. Reception time: friday 9-10 Use email to contact the teachers:

Reference texts

Dispense preparate dal docente disponibili in formato elettronico (files PPT). Fundamentals of Crystallography. C.Giacovazzo Ed. IUCr Text on Crystallography. 7.Oxford Science Publications. Diffraction Analysis of the Microstructure of Materials. E.J. Mittemeijer and P. Scardi Eds. Springer. Materials Science. (2003) J.S. Blakemore – Solid state physics – Cambridge University Press M. Dove – Structure and Dynamics – Oxford University Press R.E. Newnham – Properties of Materials – Oxford University Press A. Putnis – Introduction to Mineral Sciences - Cambridge University Press H.R Wenk, A. Bulakh – Minerals, their constitution and origin – Cambridge University Press

Teaching methods

Ex cathedra lessons, practical exercitations and laboratory experiments.

Verification of learning

Final, oral examination with mark in thirtieths on specific subjects treated during the course. During the oral exam, the student will be required to answer three general questions on the following topics (the first topic will be selected by the student, the follwing two topics will be selected by the interviewer): Nature and generation X rays. X-ray diffraction. Bragg law. Powder diffraction. Qualitative and quantitative mineralogical analysis. Determination of unit celle parameters. OEM Experimental techniques: classification FTIR Raman NMR Mössbauer SEM XRF Symmetry and physical properties Classification of the physical properties Postulate of Neumann-Curie. Nanophases Color of minerals CFT CC CT Thermodynamics and reaction kinetics in minerals DTA-TG-DTG-DSC. Space groups Kaolinite Chlorite Illite Smectite Calcite and dolomite Quarzt Plagioclases K-feldspar Olivine Iron oxides

Expected results

The student has to be able: to choose the most appropriate methodology to characterize a mineral, a rock or a crystalline industrial material; to use powder diffraction data to identify the crystalline phases and their cell parameters.