Apatite

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Apatite
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Apatite.jpg


General
CategoryMineral
Chemical formula Ca5(PO4)3(F,Cl,OH)
Identification
Color Usually green, less often colorless, yellow, blue to violet.
Crystal habit Tabular, prismatic crystals, massive, compact or granular.
Crystal system Hexagonal
Cleavage Poor
Fracture Conchoidal to even
Mohs Scale hardness 5
Luster Vitreous to subresinous
Refractive index 1.632-1.646. Biref .002-.004
Pleochroism None
Streak White
Specific gravity 3.17-3.23
Major varieties
None

Apatite is a group of minerals, usually referring to: hydroxylapatite, fluorapatite, and chlorapatite, named for high concentrations of OH-, F-, or Cl- ions, respectively, in the crystal lattice. The formula of the admixture of the three most common species is Ca5(PO4)3(OH, F, Cl).

Apatite is one of very few minerals which are produced and used by biological systems. Hydroxyapatite is the major component of tooth enamel, and a large component of bone material. Fluorapatite is slightly stronger than hydroxyapatite; thus, fluoridated water, which will allow exchange in the teeth of hydroxyl ions for fluoride ions, slightly strengthens the teeth.

Fission tracks in apatite are commonly used to estimate the thermal history of sediments in sedimentary basins.

Phosphorite is the name given to impure, massive apatite.

External links

See also

de:Apatit nl:Apatiet pl:Apatyt

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