Grunow Brothers Binocular Microscope (circa 1853)

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Loes Modderman

Glauber's Salt-Photochemical Mixture

Glauber's salt, which is made of sodium sulfate, and extracted from the mineral glauberite, is predominantly utilized in the manufacture of paper, and glass. A frequent ingredient in medications that target digestive difficulties, this salt compound is also used in furnaces, and other heating systems.

Glauber's Salt-Photochemical Mixture

Glauberite, the mineral source of this salt compound, varies in color from white to yellow, and is bitter to the taste. Crystals formed from glauberite vary in transparency as well, with some formations being opaque.

Pseudomorphism, which is a characteristic of glauberite, occurs when one mineral replaces another in a crystalline formation. Such replacement occurs at a rate so slow that the crystal retains its own distinctive shape, while it takes on the physical properties of the mineral that has replaced it. Calcite, quartz, gypsum, and opal are minerals that have been found to replace glauberite. Glauberite may also be cast by other minerals in a process whereby these minerals grow on top of a formed glauberite crystal. Eventually, the glauberite dissolves, leaving only a cast of itself remaining.


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