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Laboratories
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The Department possesses analytical laboratories, where mineralogical, petrographical, as well as chemical and geochemical research is carried out. These include laboratories of: light (optical) microscopy, gemology, experimental mineralogy, analytical geochemistry and geomicrobiology.

Moreover, the Department cooperates closely with the up-to-date-equipped Laboratory of Phase, Structural, Textural and Geochemical Analyses of the Faculty, which is chaired by the former Head of the Department, Prof. Krzysztof Bahranowski. A part of the Department’s equipment, including scanning electron microscope and atomic absorption spectrometer was also handed over to the Laboratory.


Poster_LabWydz

Laboratory of optical microscopy is equipped with universal microscope Olympus BX-51 and stereoscopic microscope Olympus SZX-9. The documentation of the research is facilitated by digital camera Olympus DP-12 and dye-sublimation A3+ printer Olympus Camedia P-400. Professional software enables a deep analysis of the recorded images. The scope of the research performed here includes microscopic observations in both transmitted and reflected light as well as macrophotography using stereoscopic microscope or bellows. Identification of minerals, classification of rocks and quantitative measurements are carried out. A wide range of samples are investigated – minerals, rocks, ores, soils, meteorites, atmospheric dust, slags, waste materials etc.


Lab LM_1 Lab LM_2

Laboratory of gemology is equipped with, among others, immersion microscope SYN GSZ/2T-SYNTEST G ImmersionScope, refractometer, polariscope, spectroscope, UV lamp, electric tester, Duotester, TLZ/3 THERMOLYZER, hardness microtester, carat balance and proportionscope. The immersion microscope allows the identification of inclusions in mineral phases. The evaluation of the gem resistance to mechanical and thermal treatment is performed. The equipment also allows to distinguish between natural and synthetic gems, analogs and imitations, etc. The refractometer is applied to the determination of the gem index of refraction, birefringence and optical character. Pleochroism as well as the amount and direction of optical axes are determined using polariscope. The collection of absorption spectra allows the identification of natural gems and their analogs and the evaluation of chromophores. The determination of the luminescence and phosphorescence (both their intensity and color) are carried out using ultraviolet lamp. Diamonds and their synthetic analogs (e.g. zirconia and moissanite) can be distinguished by using the electrotester. Other gem features: heat conductivity, reflectivity, hardness and the proportions of the sections are determined using duotester, hardness microtester and proportionscope, respectively.


Lab Gem_1 Lab Gem_2

In the laboratory of experimental mineralogy various mineralogical and geochemical studies are carried out. They include the research on kinetics and mechanism of mineral dissolution, synthesis of minerals and composites, modifications of minerals and mineral raw materials, determination of sorption properties, thermodynamic studies etc.

Laboratory of analytical geochemistry is intended for both teaching and research. This is the main lab, where the courses related to general chemistry and analytical (geo)chemistry take place. The research carried out here includes preparation as well as chemical analyses of environmental samples, i.e. rocks, minerals, wastes, soils, plants and water. Besides standard chemical facilities, the laboratory is equipped with UV-Vis and infrared spectrometers.

Laboratory of geomicrobiology is used for researching microbial processes in natural systems. The effect of microorganisms on the environment and the influence of chemistry on the microbial life are also investigated here. The microbe-mineral interactions in soils, aquifers and caves under terrestrial and extraterrestrial conditions are of particular interest. The laboratory is currently equipped with culturing facilities for aerobic microbes. The facilities include: level 2 biosafety hood (ThermoFisher Scientific), incubator (ThermoFisher Scientific), autoclave, gyratory shakers and vortex shaker.