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Lehrbuch der Mineralogie

Nature volume 24, page 355 | Download Citation



IT is with great pleasure that we have received this instalment of Prof. Tschermak's work, and also learnt from the publisher's introductory note that the rest of the book may be expected during the course of a year. The work is sketched somewhat on the lines of Naumann's well-known “Elemente der Mineralogie,” but follows Miller's Mineralogy in the wider scope given to mineral physics. The present number is introductory, and treats of descriptive crystallography, crystal-structure, general mineral physics, and includes a considerable portion of mineral optics. In the crystallography the Millerian notation and the stereographic projection are employed, and the systems are developed from the principle of symmetry in a clear and simple manner. Prof. Tschermak has adopted the four-plane axial system in the rhombohedral system, which is sometimes designated the Bravais-Miller system. Possibly this may appear to non-mathematical students simpler, and may to a certain extent be more easily mastered, but we feel sure that in its practical application to crystallographic problems it does not possess either the elegance or conciseness of the three-plane axial system selected by Prof. Miller. We feel also that it is most unfair to Prof. Miller's memory to attach his name, even in a double-barrelled way, to a system which he steadily refused to adopt. The theories and facts of twin and mimetic crystals are carefully expounded. These constitute a branch of mineralogy which has become of the outmost importance since the application of the microscope in the investigation of the optic properties of minerals. Other sections, which are especially good, are those on mineral inclusions, on the hardness and etching of crystal faces. These contain a large amount of information which is rarely to be found except by a laborious search through scientific periodicals. The book is divided into sections, each dealing with its separate subject, and at the end of each section is a list of the more important literature of the subject. The work so far is excellent, and if, as we have every reason to expect, it be carried through in an equally satisfactory manner, we shall possess a text-book in keeping with the reputation of its author and worthy of the school to which he belongs.

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