Georgius Agricola systematized the study of rocks, minerals and fossils, creating a standard classification and naming system that had not existed before. Perhaps more than any other individual, Agricola is credited with the scientific study of geology through his personal observation and scholarly research.
Georgius Agricola worked as a physician, but his passion was the study of rocks. Living in a mining district, he penned "De Re Metallica," which was a scientific inquiry into the search for and extraction of ores. The book rejected divining and dousing as methods for finding ores and became the standard text for the mining industry for the next 200 years. Agricola also wrote up his observations of the geologic column, describing the way distinct layers of rock seemed to be laid down on top of one another. This work was foundational to the later work of Charles Lyell and the gradualists. Agricola developed a systematic method for classifying minerals according to their physical properties, rather than by their alleged use in alchemy, and he even found time to write a treatise on fossils that would not be surpassed until the work of Robert Hooke over a century later. He is also among the first scientists to have described the erosive action of wind and water.Learn More
In geology, polymorphs occur when two compounds of the same composition have different crystalline structures. An example of a polymorph is quartz that is subjected to high temperatures, transforming to trydimite and then crystobalite. Trydimite and crystobalite are considered polymorphs of quartz.Full Answer >
Powdered graphite is a soft, flaky, black mineral form of the element carbon that has been broken up into tiny particles, creating a powder. Powdered graphite is used as a solid lubricant and as an artist's pigment.Full Answer >
The study of physics is significant because the concepts serve as the basis for more complicated concepts that apply to geology, chemistry and other sciences. Quite a few of the tools that have come from advances in technology and science have come from the result of the work of physicists.Full Answer >
The study of geology is important for three main reasons: it reveals the deep history of the Earth, informs other sciences, and it is useful for economic purposes. Before geology was a science, the age and development of the Earth were mysterious, and prospecting for minerals was a hit-and-miss business.Full Answer >