Articles | Volume 6, issue 4
Special issue:
GC Insights
05 Oct 2023
GC Insights |  | 05 Oct 2023

GC Insights: The crystal structures behind mineral properties – a case study of using TotBlocks in an undergraduate optical mineralogy lab

Derek D. V. Leung and Paige E. dePolo


Interactive discussion

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-294', David Mogk, 16 Mar 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Derek D.V. Leung, 04 May 2023
      • RC2: 'Reply on AC1', David Mogk, 04 May 2023
        • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Derek D.V. Leung, 16 Jun 2023
  • RC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-294', Brian Niece, 07 Jun 2023
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC3', Derek D.V. Leung, 28 Jun 2023
    • EC1: 'Reply on RC3', Leslie Almberg, 20 Jul 2023

Peer review completion

AR: Author's response | RR: Referee report | ED: Editor decision | EF: Editorial file upload
ED: Publish subject to minor revisions (further review by editor) (20 Jul 2023) by Leslie Almberg
AR by Derek D.V. Leung on behalf of the Authors (28 Jul 2023)  Author's response   Author's tracked changes   Manuscript 
ED: Publish as is (19 Aug 2023) by Leslie Almberg
ED: Publish as is (21 Aug 2023) by Sam Illingworth (Executive editor)
AR by Derek D.V. Leung on behalf of the Authors (23 Aug 2023)
Short summary
We used 3D-printed building blocks (TotBlocks) in an undergraduate optical mineralogy lab session to illustrate the links between crystal structures and the properties of minerals. Students built mica, pyroxene, and amphibole structures. We observed an improved understanding of cleavage (how minerals break) and pleochroism (how light interacts with minerals), but understanding did not improve with more abstract concepts. TotBlocks hold potential as a teaching tool in mineralogy classrooms.
Special issue
Final-revised paper