The Mineralogy Database was last updated on
9/5/2012 and it contains 4,714 individual mineral species descriptions with links and a
comprehensive image library. Visit the "What's
New" section for details.
Each mineral has a page linked to tables devoted to crystallography, crystal structures, X-Ray powder diffraction, chemical composition, physical and
optical properties, Dana's New classification, Strunz classification, mineral
specimen images, and alphabetical
listings of mineral species. There also are extensive links to other
external sources of mineral data and information.
Mineral species by chemical elements selectable from a
periodic table or search form.
Three options are provided: 1) Sorted by %, 2) Sorted by mineral name or 3) New
Custom weight percent element search.
What is a Mineral ?
Selected mineral definitions spanning the last century defining the mineral kingdom as matter other than that of the plant or animal kingdom.
This section contains tutorials on the 36 crystal classes. Along with this information are links to tables
of each class with all the minerals in that class. Printer-ready PDF files of
Aqua top (assembly required) of the crystal classes can be found here.
3D Crystal models of minerals use JAVA applets
that can be viewed in a browser window. The rotating form on your left is
an actual java applet and not an animated GIF image. If the model is not
visible then install JAVA on your PC.
Violent mergers of neutron stars
in binary solar systems likely are the main sources of the heaviest chemical elements in the
In detailed numerical simulations, the ejected matter from merging
neutron stars provides ideal conditions for the relevant reactions of atomic nuclei
to take place, producing the heaviest elements in the correct
On top of all this, we have the Late Heavy Bombardment, a period of time approximately 4.1 to 3.8 billion years ago (Ga),
during which a large number of asteroids and icy comets impacted Earth. It is this event that added
significant amounts of r-process-derived heavy elements
to the Earth's crust and, probably, the Earth's oceans.
It looks like we owe the lead in our car batteries and gold rings on our
fingers to: 1. Neutron star mergers that took place long before our solar system was formed.
2. Fortuitous addition of these elements to the probably heavily depleted
crust left over after these elements migrated to the Earth's iron core.
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