Introduction to Mineral Physics

Spring Semester 2014


Useful Links:


MP101 List of participants -- Get to know your colleagues taking the course; photos, institutional affiliations and research interests.

Mineral Physics Materials on SERC website -- Many of the background readings for the topics discussed in the class will be posted here. The site is still under construction but by the end of the semester it will be finished and it will serve as a permanent home for the materials we generate for the course.

Don Anderson's Theory of the Earth -- This is a useful text that can be downloaded free from Caltech.

UNLV Syllybus

Instructions for reading and presenting papers

Class project: Writing for Wikipedia

Exam format and grading

Midterm Exam (due 3/14/14)

Final Exam (due 5/16/14)

Technical isues:

The videos may not be compatible with the latest player from Windows. Various solutions include:

1. Get a more flexible player than windows provides:

2. Download a codec from gotomeeting:

Contact information:

Send correspondence and questions to:

Schedule & Links to course materials:



Lecture Links


Week 1

1/21 - 1/24


MLK Holiday, No webinar this week.

Instructions: This week you will work on your own so that you are ready for the first class meeting on 1/27. Watch the pre-recorded lectures and work on the homework set.


Welcome to Mineral Physics 101

Welcome video (MP4 format)


Background - What you need to know before you study mineral physics

Lecturer: Dr. Pamela Burnley

Powerpoint slides


Part 1 (28 minutes, MP4 format)

Part 2 (7 minutes, MP4 format)

Part 3 (32 minutes, YouTube)

Part 4 (27 minutes, YouTube)




Visualizing  Crystal Structures (Due 1/27/14; revisions by 2/3)

Be prepared to turn your homework in on 1/27. We will discuss the homework on the 27th and if you want to revise your homework after the discussion you have until 2/3 to turn in a corrected version.



Chapter 1 of Poirier (free as a sample from Cambridge)

Chapter 1-4 Understanding the Building Blocks of the Planet


Useful software:

WinWulff (not too expensive, free trial does cubic crystals) - strereonet visualization software

Escher sketch - applet for visualizing the symmetry elements for plane groups

Kali - applet for visualzing point symmetry operators and plane groups

VESTA - crystal structure visualization software used in homework set


Background on Stereonets:

Pamela's Intro Mineralogy lecture on stereonets (12 minutes, YouTube)

Visible Geology Tutorial on stereonets

University of Leeds work book on stereonets (for equal area net rather than equal angle, but still useful)


Week 2

1/27 - 1/31


1/27 Webinar:


Structure of course

Use of webinar tool

Discussion of Homework #1


Recording of session

(Instructions on writing for Wikipedia found at 30:30)


Synchrotron x-ray diffraction

Guest Lecturer: Dr. Przemyslaw Dera

Download powerpoint


(These should download rather than stream. Let us know if you have technical problems.)

Part 1 (46 minutes)

Part 2 (45 minutes)




Synchrotron Facilities, Synchrotron x-ray diffraction,

Lavina et al (2011) - this will be the topic of the student led discussion


Homework:  X-ray Diffraction (due 2/10/14)

Download homework materials

link to UnitCell


Additional resources:

Student Discussion of Dera et al (2011) with the author (1:36 minutes)

Dera et al (2011)

Muller (2006) , SHELXL

David et al. (2006) Chapter 1 from "Structure determination from powder diffraction data"

Other paper of interest: Schouwink et al (2011)


Week 3

2/3 - 2/7


2/3 Webinar:

Discussion of Lavina et al (2011) and any questions on

Homework #2



Recording of session


High Pressure Apparatus


Solid Media Apparatus

Guest Lecturer: Dr. Dave Walker

Download powerpoint

Download Lecture

Part 1

Part 2

The diamond anvil cell

Guest Lecturer: Dr. William Bassett

(short) Pre-lecture homework

Download powerpoint

Part 1 (30 minutes)

Part 2 (35 minutes)

Part 3 (35 minutes)

Part 4 (35 minutes)

Part 5 (40 minutes)


Readings: Multi-anvil apparatus , The Diamond Anvil Cell (DAC)


Discussion Paper: Schollenbruch et al (2011)






Additional Readings: Walker et al (1990), Walker (1991) Download Discussion (2012) and Liebermann (2011)


Week 4

2/10 - 2/14


2/10 Webinar:

Discussion of Schollenbruch et al (2011) - Daniel Mast & Nick Weldon

Recording of session


Equations of state

Guest Lecturer: Dr. Ross Angel

Powerpoint for presentation

Download recording of guest lecture

Part 1

Part 2



Read prior to lecture: Equations of state

Additional Reading: Angel et al (1997), Recording of paper discussion from 2012

Homework: Working with EoSFit (due 2/28/14)



Week 5

2/17 - 2/21


Washington's Birthday Holiday, No webinar this week.

High pressure phase equilibria and Earth Structure

Guest Lecturer: Dr. Abby Kavner

Download powerpoint

Download lecture:

Part a

Part b

Part c


Read prior to lecture: High pressure phase equilibria

Additional Reading: Komabayashi and Fei (2010)

Week 6

2/24 - 2/28


2/24 Webinar:

Discussion of paper Komabayashi and Fei (2010) - Alex Rytel & Melissa Sims

Recording of session


Earth structure, phase transformation mechanisms and kinetics


Phase transformation mechanisms (youtube)


Adam Dziewonski "Terra Incognita, again"

CIDER 2012 Summer school


Jie Li "The Mantle"

CIDER 2012 Summer school


Discussion papers:


Fiquet et al (2008)

Hirose and Lay (2008)

Frost (2008)


Additional Resources:

An overview of seismic tomography Rawlinson et al (2010)

Week 7

3/3 - 3/7


3/3 Webinar:

Discussion of earth structure papers - Marzena Baron & John Lazara

Recording of session


Diffusion and partitioning at high pressure

Guest Lecturer: Dr. Wendy Panero

Dr. Rick Hervig

Download powerpoint

Download lecture

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


Read prior to lecture: Diffusion and partitioning at high pressure

Discussion paper: Crispin et al (2012)







Additional Resources: van Orman et al (2003); 2012 Discussion van Orman et al (2003)


Week 8

3/10 - 3/14


3/10 Webinar:

Discussion of Crispin et al (2012) - Kat Sauer with special guest Katherine Crispin


Recording of session



Midterm - due 3/14

Melts at High Pressure

Guest Lecturer: Dr. Charles Lesher

Download Lecture

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Download Thursday lecture

Download Lecture

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6


Review prior to lecture: Multi-anvil apparatus, High pressure phase equilibria


Reading for Lecture on 3/24 - Liebske and Frost (2012)







Additional Reading: Lee (2011)


Spring Break


Week 9

3/24 - 3/28


3/24 - Guest Lecture:

"Deep Earth melting relations with consequences for the structure and dynamics of the lowermost mantle" - Reidar G. Tronnes


Recording of session

Tensors: stress, strain and elasticity

Guest Lecturer: Dr. Michael Brown

Download Lecture Powerpoint

Downloads of lectures:


Lecture part 1 (13 minutes)

Lecture part 2 (16 minutes)

Lecture part 3 (12 minutes)

Lecture part 4 (12 minutes)

Lecture part 5 (17 minutes)

Lecture part 6 (25 minutes)

Lecture part 7 (23 minutes)



Read prior to lecture: Tensors: stress, strain and elasticity, Nye pg 1-15


Homework Matlab codes:






rotate Cij


Homework Set #4:

Elasticity homework (due 4/14/14)


Additional Resources:

SC-EMA - web based application for self-consistent elastic calculations, also has tool for visualizing single crystal elastic tensors. More info found on Max-Planck website.


EIAM - visualization tool for elastic properties, includes all symetries. More information can be found in Marmier et al. (2010)


Week 10

3/31 - 4/4


3/31 -Webinar:

discussion of homework 4 - working with elasticity calculations

Recording of session

Brillouin spectroscopy

Guest Lecturer: Dr. Jay Bass

Download powerpoint

Download lecture

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3



Read prior to lecture: Brillouin spectroscopy


Discussion papers: Whitfield et al.  (1976) & Murakami and Bass (2011)

Recording of 2012 discussion


Additional reading: Introduction to Fabry-Perot Interferometry,




Week 11

4/7 - 4/11


4/7 -Webinar:

discussion of Whitfield et al (1976) & Murakami and Bass (2011)

- Group discussion led by Nick Weldon


Recording of session

Ultrasonic measurements

Guest Lecturer: Dr. Robert Liebermann

Download Powerpoint

Download Tuesday Lecture

Download reference list for lecture

Download Thursday Lecture

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


Read prior to lecture: Ultrasonic Measurements


Discussion paper: Whitaker et al (2009)


Additional Readings:

Anderson and Liebermann (1968)

Anderson, Schreiber and Liebermann (1968)

Jacobsen et al (2002 - AIRAPT)

Li and Liebermann (2007)

Li, Kung and Liebermann (2004)

Li et al (2005)

Spetzler et al. (1993)



Week 12

4/14 - 4/18


4/14 -Webinar:

discussion of Whitaker et al (2009) - William Wolfs & Michael Steiner


Recording of session

Deformation experiments

Guest Lecturer: Dr. Don Weidner

Download powerpoint

Download Lecture

Part 1

Part 2


Read prior to lecture: Deformation Experiments

Additional Reading: Li and Weidner (2008)

Discussion paper: Burnley and Zhang (2008)  

Week 13

4/21 - 4/24


4/21 -Webinar:

discussion of Burnley and Zhang (2008) - Jon Shapiro


Recording of session

Raman and IR spectroscopy

Guest Lecturer: Dr. Sylvia-Monique Thomas

Download powerpoint (very large – be patient)

Download lecture

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3




Read prior to lecture: Raman and IR spectroscopy


Discussion paper: Pearson et al (2014)


Additional Reading: Wang et al (2003) ; Paper discussion (2012)



Week 14

4/28 - 5/2


4/28 -Webinar:

discussion of paper -

Emily Siska


Recording of session


Mossbauer Spectroscopy

Guest Lecturer: Dr. Catherine McCammon

Download Lecture

Download Powerpoint



Additional Reading:

Amthauer76-MSGarnet.pdf ; Paper discussion (2012)



Week 15

5/5 - 5/9


5/5 - Guest Lecture:

Caitlin Murphy

Recording of session

Inelastic Scattering


Guest Lecturer: Dr. Ercan Alp

Download powerpoint

Tuesday lecture:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Thursday lecture:

Part 4

Paper discussion (& part 4)


Additional Readings:

Niss et al (2008) & Eratum Niss et al (2009)





 Send correspondence and questions to:

Dr. P.C. Burnley

Department of Geosciences
202A Lilly Fong (LFG)

(702) 895-5460



Required Text: There is no text required for the class.  Readings can be found on the SERC Cutting edge web site at:


Mid-term exam 

March 14

Semester mid point March 15

Spring Break

March 17-22

Last Day of classes 

May 10

Final Exam Due

May 14

  updated 4/4/14