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Title: Introduction to geology & minerals
Authors: Shalash, Ibrahim 
Keywords: Geology;Minerals
Issue Date: 28-Jun-2019
Publisher: Atlantic International University
Abstract: Ever since humans were found on the planet Earth, they began to think about the origin and age of this planet. Some scientists used religious beliefs to estimate the age of the universe and planet Earth; James Ussher estimated the creation of Earth from Bible teachings as 4004 years B.C (Pierce, 2006). The Mankind began to think about the movement of the planets and their relationship with each other and with the sun, he thought about the birth and death of planets. Ptolemy postulated about AD 150 the geocentric model of universe, in which Earth was the center of the universe and the sun and the rest of the planets rotate around it in circular orbits (Jones, 2008). Copernicus proposed in the 16th century the solar system based on Sun as the center of the universe and all other planets revolve around it in circular orbits (Britannica, 2017). Johannes Kepler modified Copernicus’s heliocentric theory and postulated the well-known Kepler’s three laws; the first law states that Earth and other planets rotate around the Sun in an elliptical orbit and the Sun lies in the focus of the orbit. The second law states that the imaginary line between the planet and the Sun, sweeps equal areas at the same time intervals. The third law describes the relationship between the distance of planets in the solar system from the Sun and the rotating period of the planet around the Sun (Britannica, 2018). Isaac Newton in the 17th century, described the gravitational power between planets in space in his law of general gravitation, which states that the gravitational force between two planets in the solar system is directly proportional to their masses and inversely proportional to the square distance between them, or F= G m1*m2/ R^2 (F the force in Newton, G the gravitational constant (G=6.674×10−11 m3⋅kg−1⋅s−2), m1 & m2 the masses of planets in kg, R the distance between planets in meters), (Britannica, 2016)Pioneer scientists like Galileo, used primitive instrumentation such as binoculars and balloons, to probe the distant early scientists. With sophisticated instrumentation, such as giant telescopes, spacecraft, and remote sensors, scientists are capable to see and investigate far galaxies and observe changes in planets. In the late 1700s, James Hutton, who was considered as the father of geology, had established the basis of modern Earth geology, when he proposed that the processes that are at work today, were at work in the past, which is summarized as” The present is the key to the past” (Rosenberg, 2018). Geology is the study of Earth which is considered as the most applicable branch of science, it is drawing attention by most scholars. The aim of geological science it to help human beings to explore the treasures of natural resources, that would help humans to make use of these resources in the proper way without making damage and adverse effects to the environment. The geological science had branched into many specialized subjects which increased the benefits and to created research topics in many areas, for example: - Hydrogeology, which concerns about water resources existence and exploitation. - Stratigraphy, which concerns about different rock layers and tectonic plates and their movements. - Paleontology, which concerns about fossils found inside sedimentary rocks, their types and ages. - Petroleum geology, which concerns about oil and gas resources and their exploitation- Mineralogy, which concerns about different types of minerals, their chemical and physical properties, their mining and uses. - Seismology, which concerns about earthquakes, their start points and their effect on tectonic layers. Also, it concerns about volcanoes and their eruption places and the study of lava and magma. - Petrology, which concerns about types of rocks like igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, their formation and the rock cycle. - Crystallography, which concerns about shapes and structure of different types of crystals. The crystalline materials and their properties. In this course “Introduction to Geology and Minerals”; answers to questions from seven lectures are introduced; the lectures are about the origin of the universe and solar system, theories of continental drift and plate tectonics, the formation of minerals, minerals’ classification and identification.
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