Science Degree Program in China - Mineralogy

1. Introduction

Mineralogy is the program that studies the chemical composition, crystal structure, morphology, properties, distribution rules of time and space, formation, evolution history and purpose of minerals, often called mineral petrology together with petrology.

2. Applications

Many production departments, such as mining, metallurgical chemical industry, building materials, pesticide and fertilizer, gemstones precious stone and some of the cutting-edge science and technologies are inseparable from the mineral raw materials. Therefore, mineralogical study not only has theoretical significance, but also has important practical significance for the development and application of mineral resources.

3. Research Fields

Mineralogy is the basis of studying the search, development and application of mineral raw materials and materials. Therefore, it is closely related with prospecting geology, mining, mineral processing, metallurgy and material science. In addition, the use of the theory and technology of mathematics, chemistry and physics, and mutual penetration and combination also produce a new edge disciplines such as mineral physics. The research field of mineralogy increasingly expands, from crustal minerals to mantle minerals and cosmic mineral of other celestial bodies, from natural minerals to synthetic minerals; the research content of mineralogy develops from the macro to the micro, from the main components to trace elements, from the average crystal structure of atomic arrangement to local and specific crystal structure and fine structure involving electron and electron and nuclear within the atom.

Research results of mineralogy are not only further applied in the study of geology and ore finding, the research goal of minerals is to obtain mineral materials with special performance, which has broad development prospect.

4. Branch Disciplines

1) Mineral morphology

Mineral morphology studies the morphology and surface micro morphology of mineral crystal, and explores its growth mechanism and history.

2) Genetic mineralogy

Genetic mineralogy studies the formation of individual and group minerals, combining physical, chemical and geological conditions to explore the cause of formation of minerals. It studies the composition, structure, form and the sign that reflects the formation condition from physical properties of minerals. Genetic mineralogy has been used in the geological prospecting, and gradually forms ore prospecting mineralogy.

3) Experimental mineralogy

Through the artificial synthesized minerals, experimental mineralogy simulates and explores the conditions and rules of mineral formation.

4) Structural mineralogy

Structural mineralogy explores mineral crystal structure, studies the relationship between mineral chemical composition and crystal structure to explore the relationship between mineral composition, crystal structure and the morphology, properties and formation conditions.

5) Mineral physics

It is a frontier subject that is produced by the introduction of the experimental methods of the physics, quantum chemistry and the spectrum. The development of this discipline enables the study of mineralogy to deep into the electronic layer and the structure of the atom. It studies the essence, fine structure and physical properties of mineral chemical bonds.

6) Optical mineralogy

Optical mineralogy mainly focuses on the optical properties of minerals and the methods of determining the optical constants of various minerals under the microscope. Mineral identification table, based on mineral optical constants, has been established, which is one of the main methods for mineral identification.

7) Mineral materials science

Mineral materials science is a new branch of the combination of mineralogy and materials science, studying the physical, chemical and technological properties of minerals in the development and application of science and technology and production.

8) Others

In addition, there is systematic mineralogy according to classification system, which systematically elaborates different kinds of minerals; special study taking certain minerals as object, such as sulfide mineralogy, silicate mineralogy, clay mineralogy, Gemology mineralogy and so on; regional mineralogy that comprehensively studies the minerals within a certain area, mantle mineralogy that studies mantle minerals; cosmic mineralogy that studies the minerals of other celestial bodies (including meteorite mineralogy and lunar mineralogy).

5. Research Methods

Field research methods include the field geological occurrence survey of minerals and mineral sample collection. There are a lot of indoor research methods. The naked eye observation of hand specimen, including the observation under binocular microscope and simple chemical test, is the necessary foundation for mineral research. Polarized light and reflection microscope observation includes the measure of mineral basic optical parameters, which are widely used for the identification of mineral species. The research methods of mineral crystal morphology include the crystal measurement by reflection angle measuring instrument and the observation of the micro topography on the surface of the crystal by interference microscope and scanning electron microscope. Methods for the detection of mineral chemical composition are spectral analysis, conventional chemical analysis, atomic absorption spectroscopy, laser spectroscopy, X - ray fluorescence spectroscopy and analysis, electron probe analysis, neutron activation analysis, etc. In the study of phase analysis and crystal structure of minerals, the most commonly used method is powder and single-crystal X-ray analysis, crop phase identification and determination of lattice parameters, space group and crystal structure.

In addition, infrared spectroscopy is used as auxiliary method for the analysis of the structure to determine atomic groups; with mossbauer spectroscopy for the determination of iron valence and coordination; with visible light absorption spectrum to make quantitative study on mineral colors and internal electronic configuration; molecular structure was determined by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR); paramagnetic resonance measurement crystal structure defects (such as color centers); to thermal analysis method to study mineral dehydration and decomposition, phase transformation. High resolution performance of transmission electron microscopy can be used to directly observe the ultrastructure and crystal lattice defects. In order to solve some special problems, there are a number of specialized research methods, such as the inclusion of research methods, isotope studies, etc. As a material, the physical and chemical properties of the material are also tested.

Minerals are crystalline materials with various basic properties of crystals. Therefore, crystallography is the foundation of mineralogy together with chemistry, physics. Mineral itself is a natural element or compound, and is composed of the basic unit of rocks and minerals. Therefore, mineralogy is the basis of petrology, mineral deposit, and is closely related with geochemistry, cosmochemistry.


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