Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Gypsum under the Microscope

Microscope World recently had a client interested in viewing the quality of their gypsum powder under a digital microscope. Gypsum is a very soft sulfate mineral composed of calcium sulfate dihydrate. It is found in alabaster and is the second softest mineral on the Mohs Hardness Scale. The word gypsum is derived from the Greek word gypsos, "chalk" or "plaster." Gypsum has also been called plaster of Paris because it comes from quarries of the Montmartre district of Paris.

The gypsum powder looks like this. It is sold to drywall manufacturers. The gypsum powder was placed on a microscope slide in order to view the individual crystals.

40x magnification.
All Gypsum crystals were captured using the Digital BA210 microscope.

100x magnification.

400x magnification.

1000x magnification. 
You can learn more about gypsum here.