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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/826

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most gifted pupil Mohs, the majority of mineralogists claimed mineralogy to be a purely natural history science. They gave their attention, as has been well said, entirely to "how the mineral looked" and not at all to "what it was." On the other hand, the development of analytical chemistry by the labors of Klaproth and Berzelius led many to take up mineralogy from a purely chemical stand-point. These two schools working independently brought great confusion into the science. The discoveries of HaĆ¼y in crystallography, and especially his labors in establishing a mathematical foundation for the geometrical form of crystals, and the recognition that the constancy of form depended on the constancy of the "integrant molecule," were steps which paved the way for modern mineralogy. In this a union of all the physical, geometrical, and chemical properties is required in order to determine the true character of a mineral.

Further, we are called upon to investigate the history of its origin, its relation to associated species, the changes which it undergoes, and the causes and results of these changes. Here we have to do largely with both geology and chemistry. From this it becomes evident that a much broader foundation is now required for the mineralogist than in the early days of the century. The bearing of physics, geology, and chemistry, in the study of the mineral kingdom, must be thoroughly recognized and appreciated by every investigator who desires to contribute to further progress. No mineralogist can expect to have a profound knowledge in all these directions, but he must be at least capable of intelligently applying to his subject the results obtained by experts in these sciences. Mineralogy is deeply indebted to special investigators in all these departments. Without their co-operation it would have been impossible to discover the relations of form and other physical characters with that fundamental arrangement of molecules whose nature it is now admitted controls all the properties of a substance.

The study of natural crystals has yielded rich material for the physicist. In the department of optics it has given results from which. many fundamental laws have been deduced; and natural crystals, too, have furnished, in many cases, the very apparatus which made investigations possible. Some chemists claim that mineralogy is not at all a science by itself, and constitutes only a small part of inorganic chemistry. It can be unquestionably conceded that a knowledge of chemistry is fundamental, and in consequence this claim has a certain plausibility. On the other hand, we contend that it was largely the labors of the mineralogists on the physical characters of minerals, and especially their demonstration of the relation of form to chemical composition, which finally awakened chemists to a more profound study of their own subject. The law of isomorphism was discovered by a chemist, whose training as an expert crystallographer in the examination of natural crystals made it possible for him to recognize the wonderful relation of form to composition. Dimorphism was first established