The Structure of Silicates*

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DURING the last few years a number of silicate structures have been analysed by means of X-rays in the Physical Laboratories of the University of Manchester. In the course of these investigations, we have found the atomic arrangement in the olivine, chondrodite, phenacite, pyroxene, and amphibole groups amongst the silicates of divalent metals, and in a number of aluminium silicates such as the forms of Al2SiO3, staurolite, topaz (analysed also by Pauling), beryl, and the zeolite analcite. Other silicates analysed are titanite, and benitoite containing titanium, danburite containing boron, zircon (analysed also by Vegard) and thortveitite. A group of workers has carried out these analyses, important contributions being made by Warren (pyroxenes and amphiboles), Zachariasen (titanite, thortveitite, benitoite), Naray (staurolite, cyanite), Taylor (forms of Al2SiO5 and analcite), and West (chondrodite group). Warren has just reported an analysis of the melitite group. In addition, Menzer has analysed the garnet group, and Jaeger the family of compounds to which ultramarine belongs. Preliminary observations have been published by Schiebold on the felspars, and by Mauguin on the composition of the micas. So much ground has been covered that it is possible to review the silicates as a class of compounds, though of course such a survey must be of a very preliminary character.

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