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Essentials in Geology Chapter 2

a naturally occurring, inorganic crystalline material with a unique chemical structure
a consolidated mixture of minerals
a substance that cannot be decomposed into simpler substances by ordinary chemical or physical means
periodic table
the tabular arrangement of the elements according to atomic number
chemical compound
a substance formed by the chemical combination of two or more elements in definite proportions and usually having properties different from those of its constituent elements
the smallest particle that exists as an element
the small, heavy core of an atom that contains all of its positive charge and most of its mass
a positively charged subatomic particle found in the nucleus of an atom
a subatomic particle found in the nucleus of an atom; it is electrically neutral, with a mass approximately equal to that of a proton
a negatively charged subatomic particle that has a negligible mass and is found outside the atom's nucleus
energy levels
spherically shaped negatively charged zones that surround the nucleus of an atom
valence electron
the electrons involved in the bonding process; the electrons occupying the highest principal energy level of an atom
atomic number
the number of protons in the nucleus of an atom
ionic bond
a chemical bond between two oppositely charged ions formed by the transfer of valence electrons from one atom to another
covalent bond
a chemical bond produced by the sharing of electrons
metallic bond
a chemical bond present in all metals that may be characterized as an extreme type of electron sharing in which the electrons move freely from atom to atom
mass number
the sum of the number of neutrons and protons in the nucleus of an atom
varieties of the same element that have different mass numbers; their nuclei contain the same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons
radioactive decay
the spontaneous decay of certain unstable atomic nuclei
the appearance or quality of light reflected from the surface of a mineral
a phenomenon of light by which otherwise identical objects may be differentiated
the color of mineral in powdered form
refers to the common or characteristic shape of a crystal or aggregate of crystals
describes a mineral's toughness or its resistance to breaking or deforming
a mineral's resistance to scratching and abrasion
Mohs scale
a series of 10 minerals used as a standard in determining hardness
the tendency of a mineral to break along planes of weak bonding
relates to the breakage of minerals when there are no planes of weakness in the crystalline structure; (examples: conchoidal, irregular, & splintery)
specific gravity
the ratio of a substance's weight to the weight of an equal volume of water
any one of numerous minerals that have the silicon-oxygen tetrahedron as their basic structure
light silicates
silicate minerals that lack iron and/or magnesium; also called nonferromagnesian silicates
dark silicates
silicate minerals containing ions of iron and/or magnesium in their structure; also called ferromagnesian silicates
mineral resource
all discovered and undiscovered deposits of a useful mineral that can be extracted now or at some time in the future
already identified deposits from which minerals can be extracted profitably
the weight per unit volume of a particular material
an atom or molecule that possesses an electrical charge
usually a useful metallic mineral that can be mined at a profit; the term is also applied to certain nonmetallic minerals such as fluorite and sulfur
silicon-oxygen tetrahedron
a structure composed of four oxygen atoms surrounding a silicon atom that constitutes the basic building block of silicate minerals