Using the American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database in the classroom

Christine M. Clark, Robert T. Downs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database is a compilation of every crystal structure potentially of mineralogic or geologic interest. The database, seen as an outreach service, is funded and maintained by NSF, the Mineralogical Society of America and the Mineralogical Association of Canada. This database, when linked with visualization software, provides an invaluable resource for instructors, allowing direct access to crystal structures of almost any mineral, and many at various compositions, pressures or temperatures. Associated with the database is a freeware visualization program, XtalDraw with ancillary software modules, Xpow (for visualization of powder diffraction patterns) and SPEEDEN (for visualization of electron density maps). These software modules are user-friendly, allowing students, instructors, and researchers to easily access various crystal structures. Suggestions for using the database and software in an instructional setting are given; full lesson plans and instructional guides are being developed as Internet resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-80
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Geoscience Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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