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ERIC Number: EJ1164570
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-May
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1089-9995
Using a Differential Scanning Calorimeter to Teach Phase Equilibria to Students of Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
Maria, Anton H.; Millam, Evan L.; Wright, Carrie L.
Journal of Geoscience Education, v59 n2 p63-70 May 2011
As an aid for teaching phase equilibria to undergraduate students of igneous and metamorphic petrology, we have designed a laboratory exercise that allows them to create a phase diagram from data produced by differential scanning calorimetry. By preparing and analyzing samples of naphthalene and phenanthrene, students acquire hands-on insight into thermodynamics and the melting behavior of pure samples versus mixtures, and ultimately create a binary phase diagram analogous to the system diopside-anorthite. In the process, students gain exposure to modern analytical instrumentation and practice quantitative skills such as calculation (e.g., calculation of weight % from molecular %), graphing, and assessment of error. Assessment of the effects of this laboratory exercise suggests that it improves student understanding of phase diagrams and the nature of reactions between crystals or between crystals and melt in metamorphic and igneous rock-forming environments.
National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Carleton College W-SERC, One North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057. Tel: 540-568-6675; Fax: 540-568-8058; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Indiana
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A