Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Mohs scale of mineral hardness
Mohs' scale of mineral hardness characterizes the scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of a harder material to scratch a softer. It was created by the German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs and is one of several definitions of hardness in materials science.
Mohs based the scale on ten readily available minerals. Materials are characterised against the scale by finding the hardest material that they can scratch.
The table below shows comparison with absolute hardness measures by a sclerometer. Mohs' is a purely ordinal scale with, for example, corundum being twice as hard as topaz, but diamond, almost four times as hard as corundum.
|6||Orthoclase Feldspar (KAlSi3O8)||72|
Some mnemonics traditionally taught to geology students to remember this table are "The Girls Can Flirt And Other Queer Things Can Do", "The Geologist Can Find An Ordinary Quartz, (that) Tourists Call Diamond", or "Ten Green Cows Flew Away, Feeling Queer To Come Down" (which uses an ambiguous 'F' for Feldspar).
An alternative table is shown below which has been modified to incorporate additional substances that may fall in between two levels.
|7||Vitreous pure silica|
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