SubjectsSubjects(version: 901)
Course, academic year 2022/2023
Microscopy of Rock-forming Minerals - MG440C08E
Title: Microscopy of rock-forming minerals
Czech title: Mikroskopie horninotvorných minerálů
Guaranteed by: Institute of Petrology and Structural Geology (31-440)
Faculty: Faculty of Science
Actual: from 2020
Semester: winter
E-Credits: 4
Examination process: winter s.:combined
Hours per week, examination: winter s.:1/2 Ex [hours/week]
Capacity: unlimited
Min. number of students: 3
Virtual mobility / capacity: no
State of the course: taught
Language: English
Note: enabled for web enrollment
Guarantor: doc. Alessandro Fabbrizio, Ph.D.
Teacher(s): doc. Alessandro Fabbrizio, Ph.D.
Opinion survey results   Examination dates   Schedule   
Annotation -
Last update: doc. Alessandro Fabbrizio, Ph.D. (07.04.2022)
Target students: bachelor and master level

Goals of this course are to become familiar with the function, adjustment, and use of the petrographic microscope, to understand crystal optics and practical methods of identification of rock-forming minerals (relief, pleochroism, extinction, birefringence, etc.). The student will become familiar with most common rock-forming minerals.

The course material can be found at the following link:
Literature -
Last update: doc. Alessandro Fabbrizio, Ph.D. (05.04.2022)

The study material related to all lectures can be found at the following link:

Raith MM, Raase P and Reinhardt J (2012, 2nd ed.):  Guide to Thin Section Microscopy:

UK Virtual Microscope:

video atlas of minerals in thin section:

Interactive Michel-Levy Chart (Android):

Interactive Michel-Levy Chart (iOS):

Mineralogy database:

Petrographic data files:

Deer WA, Howie RA and Zussman J. (2013): An Introduction to the Rock-Forming Minerals 3rd edition.- 498 pp, The Mineralogical Society, London.

Gribble CD et al. (1992): Optical Mineralogy - Principles and Practice. - Springer US, 303 pp.

MacKenzie WS and Guilford C. (1980): Atlas of rock-forming minerals in thin section.-98 pp, Longman Scientific and Technical, New York.

Requirements to the exam
Last update: doc. Alessandro Fabbrizio, Ph.D. (21.09.2021)
The exam consists in the identification and description of various minerals by using the optical microscope or the online interactive video atlas.
Syllabus -
Last update: doc. Alessandro Fabbrizio, Ph.D. (05.04.2022)


1) Polarized microscope and its accessories, 2) Refractive Index and mineral relief, 3) polarized light and polarizers, 4) symmetry of minerals and optical properties of uniaxial minerals, 5) Uniaxial Indicatrix, 6) Optical properties of biaxial minerals, 7) Interference colours and interference colour figures, 8) birefringence , 9) Determination of mineral sign, 10) Microscopy of uniaxial minerals under polarized light (cleavage, relief, refractory index, shape, grain size, inclusions). 11) Optical study of minerals under cross nicols (extinction angle, interference colour, birefringence). 12) Practical determination of amphiboles, pyroxenes, olivines, feldspars, feldspathoids, quartz, oxides, apatite, micas, titanite, calcite, epidote, garnets, rutile, zircon.

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