Much as I applaud Roald's exercise, I'd like to remind him that the face of the Earth is devoid of the one mineral species that dominates the solar system- metallic hydrogen.
So high are average pressures within the larger planets that their natural history becomes less a matter of mineralogy than metallurgy, for when pressures are reckoned in tens of megabars, the band structure of all solids degenerates into metallic conduction of one sort or another, and many besides carbon may sport adamantine phases , some of which may be metastable at eathly STP just as diamond is.
Sure there will be new exominerals galore, but most will be products of phase separation from metallic melts, and many will be intermetallic compounds of hydrogen and other light elements reduced to metallicity by pressures doubling their earthly density- and effective atomic radii.
I confess to a long speculative infatuation with the possible synthetic mineralogy of systems based on ammonia as a substiute for water as a solvent- a little such work has in fact been done in pursuit of such ammonia-friendly semiconductors as gallium nitride.
posted by Russell Seitz
July 29, 2013
About once a month at Sigma Xi headquarters, we liven up the lunch hour with an American Scientist Pizza Lunch talk. In these informal lectures, scientists describe new research to nonscientists. The series is light on jargon but heavy on solid science. Each Pizza Lunch offers an in-depth look at its subject, whether it's bedbugs or the smart grid. Click below to read about and download these talks -- and to subscribe!
JSTOR, the online academic archive, now contains complete back issues of American Scientist from its inception in 1913 (as Sigma Xi Quarterly) through 2005.
The table of contents for each issue is freely available to all users; those with institutional access can read each complete issue.
View the full collection here.