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Mineralogy / Edition 3

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Overview

This student-friendly text is written in a casual, jargon-free style to present a modern introduction to mineralogy. It emphasizes real-world applications and the history and human side of mineralogy. The author approaches the subject by explaining the larger, understandable topics first, and then explaining why the “little things” are important for understanding the larger picture.
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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
This text for an undergraduate mineralogy course de-emphasizes jargon and taxonomy in favor of context and understanding. Topics are covered beginning with the big picture and ending with details and theory. To put mineralogy in context, there is material on petrology, chemistry, and other sciences not normally considered mineralogy, and the history and human side of mineralogy and its key figures is included. Learning features include color and b&w photos, thought questions, and an extensive glossary. This second edition contains more material relating mineralogy to the everyday world, and can be packaged with a CD-ROM containing some 400 mineral photos. The author is affiliated with the University of North Dakota. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321663061
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 1/15/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 453
  • Sales rank: 568,687
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Dexter Perkins received his B.S. from the University of Rochester in 1973, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1979. After graduate school, his first faculty position was at the University of Chicago. He came to the University of North Dakota in 1981 where he is currently a Professor of Geology. During the past 25 years Perkins has had several 1-year appointments at European universities. Perkins is a past editor of American Mineralogist and the Journal of Geoscience Education (since 2000).

Perkins’s regular teaching duties include undergraduate and graduate mineralogy and petrology. He is also an active geology researcher. He has published almost 100 articles in professional journals and has written three books. Past research focused on high-temperature minerals and rocks; his current research concerns xenoliths from the Southwestern United States, and science education reform. So, he is both doing basic scientific research and contributing to educational research.

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Read an Excerpt

Several excellent mineralogy texts are available today. They are well written, contain good figures and tables, and are complete. In short, they make excellent reference books, and I am glad I have them on my shelf. However, in my experience they are not appropriate for undergraduate mineralogy courses because they do not stimulate students or present information in ways that help students learn. Of course, the most enthusiastic and self-motivated students always do well and enjoy learning, and they may enjoy any well-written book, but many of my students are not of this ilk. They are good students, but many of them have, over the years, expressed frustration and dissatisfaction with mineralogy texts and, consequently, the way that mineralogy is taught.

As I see it, the major problem is one of thinking. In particular, it is a problem stemming from scientific minds that picture the world as a bunch of facts that, when combined, add up to big pictures. I find that most mineralogy students are bored by facts and often have not developed the imagination or perseverance needed to see their implications. As a scientist, I don't have a problem starting with atoms and atomic theory and building to molecules, crystals, rocks, regions, continents, and the Earth. I have no problem spending time discussing symmetry before I discuss minerals. It doesn't bother me if a class or an article never gets beyond interesting details and abstractions, or if a particular topic is never fully related to any other. However, as a teacher, I find that the scientific way of thinking is not the students' way of learning. Most students, in fact, seem to learn best by starting with the big things they know and understand—a rock or a pretty crystal, for instance—and then focusing on details and, finally, abstractions. They are interested and stimulated only when they understand the context and implications of the material they are learning. This means that the order and presentation of subjects in available mineralogy books are in many ways opposite from what can best promote learning.

Most of today's students won't be mineralogists and few will be petrologists. They don't need to know all the details of crystallography, crystal chemistry, and many other things we have taught in the past. Instead, they need to know how to think, they need to appreciate science and how it works, and, if they are to go on to careers in the Earth sciences, they need to know how minerals fit into a bigger picture.

This is the second edition of Mineralogy but, like the first, it approaches the subject of mineralogy from a student's perspective. My goal is to provide a book that students will enjoy reading and that will help them learn and become excited about the science I have made my career. I have tried to emphasize ideas and thinking and to relate mineralogy to other sciences. Consequently, I have deemphasized facts and sacrificed some completeness. Most, but not all, of the same material found in other mineralogy books is included, but the order, presentation, and depth of coverage are different. Mineralogical purists may say that I have strayed into different disciplines or that I have omitted some important details. Of these crimes I am guilty; but I have not done this without thought, and I hope that my thinking has been consistent with my goals.

When I wrote the first edition of this book, I was asked what would make it different and successful. I am not sure what makes a book successful, but the most important things that make this book different from others are

  • With the exception of the first chapter, topics are covered beginning with the big, easy-to-see picture and ending with the details and theory.
  • Topics are not completely divided into separate chapters as in many books; there is overlap and some redundancy.
  • In an attempt to put mineralogy in context, I have placed more emphasis on petrology, chemistry, and other sciences not normally considered mineralogy.
  • The history and human side of mineralogy—individuals and their contributions—have received more emphasis and are placed in better context than in other books.
  • Boxed material relates mineralogy to things that are relevant to our daily lives.
  • Jargon, classification schemes, and other vocabulary are only mentioned when important, and they are never emphasized.
  • This book includes a glossary of over 1000 mineralogical terms.
  • This book is not a complete mineralogy reference book; some things have been omitted or covered only briefly.
  • I have tried to write in a style that is easy to read and less rigid than many science texts.
  • Every chapter includes some "Questions for Thought." Most of the questions do not have absolutely correct answers. Instead, they require thinking about the material in the chapter and combining it with material learned elsewhere. They are intended to stimulate student thought and discussion and to inspire students to look in other books or journals for information.
  • With some additions, and with emphasis on Chapters 1-8, this text could form the basis for a combined mineralogy/petrology course.

In this, the second edition, I have made some significant changes. Many photos and line drawings have been replaced, and new topical boxes have been added. I have omitted some of the more tedious parts of the first edition, replacing them with more information relating mineralogy to the world around us. Additionally, this edition is accompanied by a CD-Rom that contains over 400 high-quality mineral photographs.

This book would not have been possible without an incredible amount of help from my friends and others. So many people have contributed that listing them all would add another chapter. Al Falster and others provided some photos for this book, but I am especially indebted to Alan Kantrud who took many photographs for me and taught me how to take my own. I am also indebted to Eric Dowty and Shape Software for providing graphics software and data files to create crystal structure drawings.

Thanks go the following reviewers: Penelope Morton, University of Minnesota-Duluth; William P Leeman, Rice University; David L. Smith, La Salle University; Jeffery Ryan, University of South Florida; Jennifer A. Thomson, Eastern Washington University; Julia Nord, George Mason University; Philip Goodell, University of Texas at El Paso.

In the final analysis, the success or failure of any textbook depends on how it is received by students and teachers who use it. I hope you like Mineralogy and will tell me of things I can do to make it more useful and enjoyable.

Dexter Perkins

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Part 1
Chapter 1: Elements and Minerals
Chapter 2: Crystallization and Classification of Minerals
Chapter 3: Mineral Properties: Hand Specimen Mineralogy
Chapter 4: Optical Mineralogy
Chapter 5: Igneous Rocks and Silicate Minerals
Chapter 6: Sedimentary Minerals and Sedimentary Rocks
Chapter 7: Metamorphic Minerals and Metamorphic Rocks
Chapter 8: Ore Deposits and Economic Minerals

Part II: Symmetry, Crystallography, and Atomic Structure
Chapter 9: Crystal Morphology and Symmetry
Chapter 10: Crystallography
Chapter 11: Unit Cells, Points, Lines, and Planes
Chapter 12: X-Ray Diffraction and Mineral Analysis
Chapter 13: Atomic Structure

Part III: Mineral Descriptions
Chapter 14: Descriptions of Minerals

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Preface

Several excellent mineralogy texts are available today. They are well written, contain good figures and tables, and are complete. In short, they make excellent reference books, and I am glad I have them on my shelf. However, in my experience they are not appropriate for undergraduate mineralogy courses because they do not stimulate students or present information in ways that help students learn. Of course, the most enthusiastic and self-motivated students always do well and enjoy learning, and they may enjoy any well-written book, but many of my students are not of this ilk. They are good students, but many of them have, over the years, expressed frustration and dissatisfaction with mineralogy texts and, consequently, the way that mineralogy is taught.

As I see it, the major problem is one of thinking. In particular, it is a problem stemming from scientific minds that picture the world as a bunch of facts that, when combined, add up to big pictures. I find that most mineralogy students are bored by facts and often have not developed the imagination or perseverance needed to see their implications. As a scientist, I don't have a problem starting with atoms and atomic theory and building to molecules, crystals, rocks, regions, continents, and the Earth. I have no problem spending time discussing symmetry before I discuss minerals. It doesn't bother me if a class or an article never gets beyond interesting details and abstractions, or if a particular topic is never fully related to any other. However, as a teacher, I find that the scientific way of thinking is not the students' way of learning. Most students, in fact, seem to learn best by starting with the big things theyknow and understand—a rock or a pretty crystal, for instance—and then focusing on details and, finally, abstractions. They are interested and stimulated only when they understand the context and implications of the material they are learning. This means that the order and presentation of subjects in available mineralogy books are in many ways opposite from what can best promote learning.

Most of today's students won't be mineralogists and few will be petrologists. They don't need to know all the details of crystallography, crystal chemistry, and many other things we have taught in the past. Instead, they need to know how to think, they need to appreciate science and how it works, and, if they are to go on to careers in the Earth sciences, they need to know how minerals fit into a bigger picture.

This is the second edition of Mineralogy but, like the first, it approaches the subject of mineralogy from a student's perspective. My goal is to provide a book that students will enjoy reading and that will help them learn and become excited about the science I have made my career. I have tried to emphasize ideas and thinking and to relate mineralogy to other sciences. Consequently, I have deemphasized facts and sacrificed some completeness. Most, but not all, of the same material found in other mineralogy books is included, but the order, presentation, and depth of coverage are different. Mineralogical purists may say that I have strayed into different disciplines or that I have omitted some important details. Of these crimes I am guilty; but I have not done this without thought, and I hope that my thinking has been consistent with my goals.

When I wrote the first edition of this book, I was asked what would make it different and successful. I am not sure what makes a book successful, but the most important things that make this book different from others are

  • With the exception of the first chapter, topics are covered beginning with the big, easy-to-see picture and ending with the details and theory.
  • Topics are not completely divided into separate chapters as in many books; there is overlap and some redundancy.
  • In an attempt to put mineralogy in context, I have placed more emphasis on petrology, chemistry, and other sciences not normally considered mineralogy.
  • The history and human side of mineralogy—individuals and their contributions—have received more emphasis and are placed in better context than in other books.
  • Boxed material relates mineralogy to things that are relevant to our daily lives.
  • Jargon, classification schemes, and other vocabulary are only mentioned when important, and they are never emphasized.
  • This book includes a glossary of over 1000 mineralogical terms.
  • This book is not a complete mineralogy reference book; some things have been omitted or covered only briefly.
  • I have tried to write in a style that is easy to read and less rigid than many science texts.
  • Every chapter includes some "Questions for Thought." Most of the questions do not have absolutely correct answers. Instead, they require thinking about the material in the chapter and combining it with material learned elsewhere. They are intended to stimulate student thought and discussion and to inspire students to look in other books or journals for information.
  • With some additions, and with emphasis on Chapters 1-8, this text could form the basis for a combined mineralogy/petrology course.

In this, the second edition, I have made some significant changes. Many photos and line drawings have been replaced, and new topical boxes have been added. I have omitted some of the more tedious parts of the first edition, replacing them with more information relating mineralogy to the world around us. Additionally, this edition is accompanied by a CD-Rom that contains over 400 high-quality mineral photographs.

This book would not have been possible without an incredible amount of help from my friends and others. So many people have contributed that listing them all would add another chapter. Al Falster and others provided some photos for this book, but I am especially indebted to Alan Kantrud who took many photographs for me and taught me how to take my own. I am also indebted to Eric Dowty and Shape Software for providing graphics software and data files to create crystal structure drawings.

Thanks go the following reviewers: Penelope Morton, University of Minnesota-Duluth; William P Leeman, Rice University; David L. Smith, La Salle University; Jeffery Ryan, University of South Florida; Jennifer A. Thomson, Eastern Washington University; Julia Nord, George Mason University; Philip Goodell, University of Texas at El Paso.

In the final analysis, the success or failure of any textbook depends on how it is received by students and teachers who use it. I hope you like Mineralogy and will tell me of things I can do to make it more useful and enjoyable.

Dexter Perkins

Read More Show Less

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