00722 - Mineralogy

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Affordable and clean energy Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The students will learn the foundamentals on the science of mineralogy. Main goal are: -knowledge of structures, crystal chemistry and classification of minerals; - identify rock-forming minerals, their physical properties, occurrences; -introduce analytical methods like x-ray diffraction and polarizing light microscope; identify mineral in hand specimen and thin section.

Course contents

Definition of mineral. Chemical bonds in solids and crystals, ionic radii, coordination of ions, Pauling's rules. Description of crystal structures: sulphur, graphite, diamond, halite, fluorite, layered structures (brucite, gibbsite), calcite. Structural classification of silicates. Solid solutions, binary sistems, crystallisation diagrams. Polimorphism, phase rules.
Elements of crystallography: point group symmetry, stereographic projection of crystal models. Bravais nets, space groups.
Physical properties of minerals: specific gravity, hardness and Mohs's scale, fracture, cleveage, piezoelectricity, magnetism. The colour of minerals and precious stones.
X-rays and their applications: Bragg's law, powder diffraction.
Optical properties of minerals.
Systematic description of rock-forming minerals: olivines, garnets, micas, pyroxenes, amphiboles, feldspars, silica minerals, carbonates.
Mineral genesis and occurrences.


C.K. Klein, A.R. Philpotts - Mineralogia e petrografia, Zanichelli 2018.

C. KLEIN - Mineralogia, Zanichelli 2004.

C. KLEIN - Mineral Science, Wiley.
D. Perkins - Mineralogy, Prentice Hall. 

W.A. Deer, R.A. Howie & J. Zussman - An introduction to the Rock-Forming Minerals. Longman Scientific & Technical

Optical mineralgy

A. PECCERILLO e D. PERUGINI - Introduzione alla petrografia ottica, Morlacchi editore.

W.D. NESSE - Introduction to mineralogy, Oxford University Press.

Teaching methods

Lectures and laboratory exercises

Assessment methods

The exam is written.

Teaching tools

Specimens of minerals and rocks
Models of crystals and structures of minerals
Optical microscope and thin sections of minerals and rocks
Software for visualisation of crystal structures

Office hours

See the website of Giorgio Gasparotto