A.Y. 2019/2020
Overall hours
Learning objectives
Autonomia di giudizio: L'insegnamento fornisce la capacità di identificare e classificare i minerali e i processi di crescita e trasformazione minerale. Vengono forniti gli elementi di cristallochimica necessari per valutare in modo critico la stabilità delle frequentissime soluzioni solide nei minerali formatori di rocce e dei processi di polimorfismo. Entrambe informazioni sono fondamentali nella interpretazione dei processi petrogenetici e geodinamici.
Abilità comunicative: L'insegnamento prevede l'acquisizione della conoscenza dei criteri internazionali di classificazione dei minerali illustrando la terminologia opportuna, comprensiva di simboleggiatura, ed i termini in lingua inglese, permettendo di comunicare in modo universale i problemi e i fenomeni legati a alla mineralogia e cristallochimica.
Capacità di apprendere: lo studente deve acquisire una conoscenza di base della mineralogia ed essere in grado di estendere le basi acquisite per completare le informazione richieste in altri ambiti concreti delle Scienze della Terra.
Expected learning outcomes
Making judgements The course provides the ability to identify and classify minerals and processes of mineral growth and transformation. Crystal-chemical elements are provided in order to critically evaluate the stability of the most common solid solutions in rock forming minerals and polymorphism processes. Both kind of information are fundamental in the interpretation of petrogenetic and geodynamic processes.
Communication skills The course target includes the acquisition of knowledge of international mineral classification criteria by illustrating appropriate jagon, including symbolism, and English lexicon, enabling universal communication of problems and phenomena related to mineralogy and crystal chemistry.
Learning skills Students must acquire a basic understanding of mineralogy and be able to extend the acquired background to complete the information eventually required in other concrete areas of Earth Sciences.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Course syllabus
A. Introduction
Summaries of concepts from the 1st year course "Laboratory of Minerals and Rocks": definition of mineral, chemical composition of the Earth crust and planets, ionic radii and coordination polyhedra. Chemical formula. Crystalline matter. Relationship with physical properties. Mineral stability: phase rule. Some important minerals.
B. Symmetry
Periodicity. Lattice. Some historical notes. Fundamental crystallography laws. Haüy's law. Miller Indices. Crystalline systems. Two-dimensional lattices. Three-dimensional lattices. Bravais Patterns. Symmetry. Symmetry operations. Stereographic projection. Symmetry classes and stereographic representation of symmetry operators and classes. Crystal shapes. Types of crystalline forms. Crystal growth. Nucleation. Defects and Growth. Twinning. Types of twinning.
C. Crystal chemistry
Atom packing. Coordination. Coordination polyhedra. Pauling's Rules. Isomorphism. Exsolution/ unmixing. Polymorphism. Polymorphic transformations. Polytypism. Paramorphism. Metamictization. Pseudomorphism. Polysomatism.
D. Systematic mineralogy
Mineral classification. Concept of species and mineral group. IMA. Mineral and mineral structures databases. Classification rules. Mineral Hierarchies. Overview, composition, structure and physical characteristics of the most common minerals of the following classes: Silicates (nesosilicates, sorosilicates, cyclosilicates, inosilicates, fillosilicates, tectosilicates); native elements; oxides and hydroxides; sulphides and sulphosalts; carbonates; borates; sulphates; phosphates; organic compounds. Short overview of mineral genesis processes.
E. Mineral characterization techniques
E.1. Diffraction. X-ray diffraction theory by crystals. Generation of X-rays. Bragg equation. The Ewald Ball. Powder diffraction. Manually interpreting a diffractogram. Single Crystal Diffraction: Laue Method, Detector with Pointed Detector, Rotating Crystal with Area Detector.
E.2. X-ray fluorescence. Mineral formulas.
E.3. Optical mineralogy. Nature of light. Absorption. Reflection and refraction. Snell's Law. Birefringence. Fresnel's formula. Optical Indicatrices and Crystal Systems. Description of polarized-light microscope. Mineral observations: parallel light (relief, Becke line, retardation and interference colors) and conoscopy (interference figures).
Prerequisites for admission
The Mineralogy course requires knowledge of the topics covered in the courses of Mathematics I (in particular trigonometry and geometry), Chemistry and laboratory and Physics II (Electromagnetic waves and optics).
Teaching methods
Frontal lessons and exercises (optical mineralogy with the use of polarized-light microscope)
Teaching Resources
The supports for the ppt slides used during the lessons can be downloeaded form the ARIEL portal,
The following texts are of support:
Klein, K. Mineralogia. Zanichelli
Carobbi, G. Mineralogia. USES

[Web site] (ARIEL portal):
Assessment methods and Criteria
The verification takes place through an exam consisting of a written test and an oral test (discussion), both mandatory:
The written test aims to ascertain the basic knowledge acquired during the frontal lessons and laboratory exercises through (a) solving exercises, with contents and difficulty degree similar to those faced in the exercises, (b) answering questions YES/NO (c) short description of concise concepts.
The oral discussion, starting from the contents of the written test, focuses on all the topics covered in the course.
The oral exam is accessible with a score of 18/30 on the written test. Passing the written test is valid for subsequent appeals within the academic year.
GEO/06 - MINERALOGY - University credits: 6
Practicals: 12 hours
Lessons: 40 hours
Turno I
Professor: Camara Artigas Fernando
Turno II
Professor: Camara Artigas Fernando