To understand mineral chemistry, we need to step back and review some fundamentals of chemistry. You probably studied some of this material as early as eighth grade, but don’t be tempted to skip this chapter. You will find that mineralogists have a different perspective on this topic than chemists. For example, chemists care a lot about the size and weight of individual atoms, and how they behave in gases. Mineralogists by definition usually don’t care about atoms in gases (though this topic does come back to haunt us in petrologic systems), and we are not usually interested in the sizes or weights of atoms in the neutral state.
Topics covered in Chapter 3 include:
Structures of Atoms
From Atoms to Ions