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The cycle of minerals and materials

Our society is totally dependent on geological resources. We need zinc to manufacture cars, lithium for batteries, quartz for glass, graphite for pencils, and talc for makeup. Without these raw materials found on earth, our lives would be very different.

The universe started to expand 13,7 billion years ago after the Big Bang, which also produced for example the first elements, hydrogen and helium. Our planet formed approximately 4560 million years ago from the extra debris left over by our newly born sun. Our cool planet started to heat up due to the stream of particles, the increasing pressure created by gravity and the decay of radioactive materials. Due to the melting of chemical elements, the heaviest materials sank toward the centre of the earth and formed the core while the lightest materials floated to the surface. As a result the earth’s layered structure and the first crustal plates were formed.

When a mineral is crystallized in fortunate circumstances it can achieve an almost perfect crystalline form. The collection contains cubic pyrite that looks almost hand made. The minerals have an abundance of colours. The beautiful jewels that belong to the beryl group have the same chemical composition, but different elements give them different colours. For example the bright green colour of an emerald comes from chromium and the golden yellow colour of a heliodor comes from iron.

Sandstone


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Updated 16/11/2017 | Send feedback | Print