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October 17 , 2009

Thermodynamics of Minerals and Melts


Today large numbers of geoscientists apply thermodynamic theory to solu­ tions of a variety of problems in earth and planetary sciences. For most problems in chemistry, the application of thermodynamics is direct and rewarding. Geoscientists, however, deal with complex inorganic and organic substances. The complexities in the nature of mineralogical substances arise due to their involved crystal structure and multicomponental character. As a result, thermochemical solutions of many geological-planetological problems should be attempted only with a clear understanding of the crystal-chemical and thermochemical character of each mineral. The subject of physical geochemistry deals with the elucidation and application of physico-chemical principles to geosciences. Thermodynamics of mineral phases and crystalline solutions form an integral part of it. Developments in mineralogic thermody­ namics in recent years have been very encouraging, but do not easily reach many geoscientists interested mainly in applications. This series is to provide geoscientists and planetary scientists with current information on the develop­ ments in thermodynamics of mineral systems, and also provide the active researcher in this rapidly developing field with a forum through which he can popularize the important conclusions of his work. In the first several volumes, we plan to publish original contributions (with an abundant supply of back­ ground material for the uninitiated reader) and thoughtful reviews from a number of researchers on mineralogic thermodynamics, on the application of thermochemistry to planetary phase equilibria (including meteorites), and on kinetics of geochemical reactions.
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