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Geochemistry & Petrochemistry

Here's a collection of articles, notes, and resources for the fields of geochemistry and petrochemistry.
  1. Jewelry Chemistry
  2. Petroleum and Petrochemistry (?)

Mineral Pictures
This is a list of pictures of minerals, including mineral crystals, rough specimens, and minerals that have been cut for use as gemstones.

Crystal Photo Gallery
This is a collection of photographs of crystals. Some are crystals you can grow yourself. Others are representative pictures of crystals of elements and minerals.

Gemstone List
This alphabetical list of gemstones includes the mineral names of the gemstones as well as links to photos of the gems.

Chemical Composition of Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a complex mixture of hydrocarbons and other chemicals. Here is a look at the properties and chemical composition of petroleum.

Yellowstone Geochemistry Photo Gallery
Yellowstone National Park contains many fascinating and beautiful geothermal features. Learn about the geochemistry of the park and view the spectacular scenery resulting from the extraordinary geysers and hot springs.

Elements in the Sun
You probably know the sun consists mainly of hydrogen and helium. Can you name the other elements found in our closest star?

Before You Buy a Rock Tumbler
Learn about the two main types of rock tumblers and get some selection tips and helpful advice to prepare for your first tumble. Links to related resources and support sites are also included.

Gemstone Colors and Transition Metals
Gemstones are minerals that can be polished or cut for use as an ornament or jewelry. The color of a gemstone comes from the presence of trace...

Carbon Cycle
Carbon is an element that is essential for life. The carbon cycle describes the storage and exchange of carbon between the Earth's biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere.

Nitrogen Cycle
Learn about the processes involved in the nitrogen cycle, the biochemical cycle that describes the transformations of nitrogen as it goes through nature.

Mineral Photo Gallery
Minerals are natural inorganic chemical compounds. These are photographs of minerals, along with a look at their chemical composition.

How to Take Mineral Photos
Do you want to take great pictures of your mineral specimens? Here are some tips and tricks to help your mineral photos turn out looking wonderful.

Rock & Mineral Chemistry Quiz
Do you know about the chemistry of rocks and minerals? Here's a ten question quiz you can take to test your knowledge.

Mohs Scale of Hardness
The Mohs Scale of Hardness measures how well a substance resists scratching by another material. You can use this scale to test the hardness of rocks, minerals, and crystals, to help identify them.

Perform the Mohs Test
The Mohs test is one way to determine the hardness of a rock or mineral. You can use the Mohs hardness to help identify an unknown specimen. Here's how you can do the test yourself.

Rock Tumbler Instructions
Here are instructions for tumbling rocks using a rotary drum tumbler and a vibratory tumbler, as well as instructions for polishing jewelry in a rock tumbler. Helpful tips are included for improving the polish and troubleshooting problems.

Plant and Soil Chemistry - Science Fair Project Ideas
Here are some science fair project ideas that involve plants and soil chemistry. Are you looking for an environmental science project? Check here!

Fulgurites - What Are Fulgurites?
Learn about what fulgurites are and how they form.

Gemstone Photo Gallery
See photos of rough and cut gemstones and learn about the chemistry of the minerals.

Lightning and Plasma Photo Gallery
This is a photo gallery of lightning and plasma pictures.

Cloud in a Bottle Demonstration
Here's a quick and easy science project you can do: make a cloud inside a bottle. This simple project uses water vapor and smoke from a match to help form a cloud.

Green Sand Beach
Hawaii's Green Sand Beach is an unforgettable destination. Learn why the sand is green and how to get to the beach.

Black Sand Beach
Hawaii boasts many black sand beaches. Learn more about why the sand is black.

Hawaii Chemistry
Take a look at the Big Island of Hawaii from a chemistry perspective.

Hiddenite Gemes - Emerald Hollow Mine
The Emerald Hollow Mine in Hiddenite, NC is the only emerald mine in the United States open to the public for prospecting. I went to North Carolina to check the mine out for myself. Can you find emeralds? Yes! And rubies, sapphires, amethyst, citrine, the rare gemstone hiddenite, and much more.

Metal Quiz
Test your knowledge of the metals with this ten question quiz. Links about different metals are provided to help you find the answers.

Chemical Composition of the Earth's Crust
This is a table that shows the elemental chemical composition of the Earth's crust.

Chemistry of Diamond
Part I: Carbon Chemistry and Diamond Crystal Structure, emphasizes diamond formation and crystal structure. Part II: Properties and Types of Diamonds, dicusses diamond characteristics, classification system, and methods of synthesis. There are also links to learn about carbon allotropes, diamond mining, diamonds as gemstones, and geology.

Is Diamond a Conductor?
One of the ways you can tell a diamond from most diamond simulants is by the conductivity of the material. Here's a look at the conductivity of diamond.

Compounds in the Earth's Crust
This table shows the chemical composition or abundance of chemical compounds in the Earth's crust.

Crystal Types - Shapes & Structures
Let's take a look at the two main ways to categorize crystal types. I've described the major crystal structures (e.g., triclinic, hexagonal) and how crystals are classified by their properties (e.g., ionic, covalent) and provided links so that you can see examples of crystal types and learn more about crystallography.

Product Summary - Lortone Model 33B Rotary Rock Tumbler
This twin-barrel rock tumbler from Lortone features rubber 3 lb. capacity barrels, a fan-cooled continuous duty motor, and durable metal housing. This summary itemizes the tumbler's features and includes a product evaluation.

Product Summary - Smithsonian Crystal Kit
This kit includes everything except the boiling water needed to grow eight colors of large crystals, geodes, clusters, and more! Find out what is included in the Smithsonian Crystal Growing set and how it works in actual use.

Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP)
This photo gallery shows coverage of the launch of NASA's Radiation Belt Storm Probes (RBSP) from an Atlas V rocket.

Rock Tumbler Basics
Are you considering getting a rock tumbler? Before you make a purchase, learn about the different types of rock tumblers and get tips on choosing the best tumbler for your needs.

What Are the Van Allen Radiation Belts?
Here is an explanation of the Van Allen radiation belts, which are also known simply as the radiation belts.

What Is the Most Abundant Element?
The elemental composition of the universe and the earth's crust are very different! How different? Take a look...

What Is the Chemical Composition of Air?
Learn about chemical composition of the Earth's air. Percentages of the most common compounds are given, according to volume.

Why Is the Ocean Salty?
Have you ever wondered why the ocean is salty? Have you wondered why lakes might not be salty? Here's a look at what makes the ocean salty and why other bodies of water have a different chemical composition.

Mohs Scale of Hardness
Here's the scale used to assess a stone's ability to resist abrasion. Both gemstones and some everyday items are included.

Specific Gravity Ranges for Minerals
Specific gravity expresses the relative density of a material relative to the density of water. Here's a table of specific gravity ranges for several minerals.

Mineral Gallery
Chemistry, characteristics, and identification of minerals. From Amethyst Galleries.

Mineral Spectroscopy Server
Visible, infrared, and Raman spectra of minerals. From George R. Rossman, California Institute of Technology.

Petrography and Petrology
Lectures involving origination of and chemical processes within igneous and metamorphic rocks. From Greg Finn, Brock University.

Snow Crystals
Introduction to every facet of snowflake formation. From Kenneth G. Libbrecht, California Institute of Technology.

USGS Minerals Information
Keyword search finds data on domestic and foreign mineral production and consumption. From the US Geological Survey.

Why Is the Carbon Cycle Important?
Learn why the carbon cycle is important.

What Causes the Aurora Borealis Colors?
Learn how the aurora works and what makes the colors of the northern and southern lights.

Does the Aurora Make a Sound?
Here's a look at whether the aurora borealis or Northern Lights make a sound and possible explanations for the phenomenon.

Have You Heard the Sound of the Aurora Borealis?
Some people report hearing a sound accompanying the aurora borealis or Northern Lights. Have you heard a noise while watching the aurora? Share your experience or read what others have to say.

Can You Smell Rain? - Geosmin and Petrichor
Learn the science behind what causes the smell of rain and lightning.

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