Table of Contents
What determines the physical properties of a mineral?
The physical properties of minerals are determined by the atomic structure and crystal chemistry of the minerals. The most common physical properties are crystal form, color, hardness, cleavage, and specific gravity. One of the best ways to identify a mineral is by examining its crystal form (external shape).
What is cleavage determined by?
Definitions. Cleavage – The tendency of a mineral to break along flat planar surfaces as determined by the structure of its crystal lattice. These two-dimensional surfaces are known as cleavage planes and are caused by the alignment of weaker bonds between atoms in the crystal lattice.
What determines a minerals physical identifying properties specifically cleavage fracture and hardness?
The physical properties of minerals are related to their chemical composition and bonding. Some characteristics, such as a mineral’s hardness, are more useful for mineral identification.
Does hardness determine cleavage?
Crystals often contain planes of atoms along which the bonding between the atoms is weaker than along other planes. In such a case, if the mineral is struck with a hard object, it will tend to break along these planes. This property of breaking along specific planes is termed cleavage.
What controls the hardness of a mineral?
The hardness of a mineral is mainly controlled by the strength of the bonding between the atoms and partly by the size of the atoms. It is a measure of the resistance of the mineral to scratching, the Mohs scale is for natural minerals.
What are the property of mineral that determines the relative heaviness of a mineral?
Specific Gravity, also known as SG, is a measurement that determines the density of minerals. Two minerals may be the same size, but their weight may be very different. The specific gravity of a mineral determines how heavy it is by its relative weight to water.