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July-August 2013

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Incorrect Chemical Formula

A large number of recent mineralogical books give end-member chemical formulas for all mineral species. These books should, but unfortunately often do not, give the correct formulas. Bulakh (2000) in his review of Mandarino (1999) gives some examples of strange formulas and wrote that Mandarino's glossary contained more than 310 doubtful formulas. To illustrate this problem, a number of examples are given from the smectite family and the regular mixed-layer family of layer silicates.

Dr. Peter Bayliss, professor emeritus, is a research associate at the Australian Museum in Sydney, Australia.


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