What is Mohs Hardness Scale?

megalodon

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The Mohs scale of mineral hardness is a qualitative ordinal scale characterizing scratch resistance of various minerals. The scale works through relative hardness by checking if a mineral can scratch another mineral. The scale was created by German Geologist and Mineralogist Friedrich Mohs in 1812. The harder minerals generally scratch the softer minerals. It is one of several definitions of hardness in material science, while several others are quantitative scales.

Application
Although the Mohs scale of hardness lacks the precision, it is extremely useful in estimating the relative hardness of minerals in field with the help of scratch kits. Mohs scale is used in Field Geology to identify minerals and rocks without microscopic examination.

Minerals
The following are the minerals in Mohs scale of hardness
Mohs HardnessMineralAbsolute Hardness
1Talc1
2Gypsum2
3Calcite14
4Fluorite21
5Apatite48
6Orthoclase feldspar72
7Quartz100
8Topaz200
9Corundum400
10Diamond1500

On the Mohs scale, a streak plate has a hardness of approximately 7. These ordinary minerals can help Geologists estimate the approximate hardness which helps in identification of minerals in the field.
 

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