Department of Geology
|Rock Preparation and Mineral Separation Facilities
The Department of Geology houses all the facilities necessary for cutting, crushing, pulverizing, and powdering rocks and for separating particular minerals from rocks. The products of these processes usually enjoy further analysis in one or more of our other laboratories. For more information about using these facilities please contact Aaron Martin.
We also have two stainless steel mortars and pestles for hand-powered crushing and pulverizing.
We usually powder smaller samples using either this small shatterbox or a mortar and pestle made of alumina or agate.
After the water separation, we remove strongly magnetic particles using a hand magnet. Following this step, we complete another density separation using one or more dense liquids, usually methylene iodide. Methylene iodide has a density of 3.325.
After the separation using dense liquids, the minerals enjoy magnetic separation using this Frantz magnetic barrier separator.
After these bulk separation techniques, the mineral of interest is ready to be picked by hand under a stereomicroscope.