Petrology OpenCourseWare: MIT's Free Bachelor Level Petrology Class

Published Jan 31, 2009

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Use your previous knowledge of physics and chemistry to learn more about the process of rock formation by taking this free OpenCourseWare from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). 'Petrology' explores the conditions under which rocks form, the unique chemical composition of specific rocks and their distribution on the earth's surface and underlying mantle. It's recommended that students complete MIT's OpenCourseWare 'Structure of Earth Materials' and 'Thermodynamics of Materials' before taking 'Petrology'.

Petrology: Course Specifics

Degree Level Free Audio Video Downloads
Undergraduate Yes No No Yes

Lectures/Notes Study Materials Tests/Quizzes
Yes Yes No

Petrology: Course Description

This course covers how the minerals in sedimentary rocks found in the Earth's crust and mantle provide information about the history of climate change. Students learn how the rocks themselves provide information on tectonic developments and the earth's temperature during different eras and at different depths. 'Petrology' also covers the formation of igneous and metamorphic rocks, thermodynamics, rock-forming minerals and the care and use of microscopes. The undergraduate course includes 24 lectures and handouts. In addition, students will have access to an image gallery to aid in identifying rocks included in the study. Students will need to use Microsoft Excel or the free Microsoft Excel viewer software to view spreadsheet files on the OpenCourseWare site. The course, which is available in English and Persian, is taught by Professor Timothy Grove of MIT's Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences department.

The reading list, lecture notes, handouts and image gallery are available to download for free. To find out more about this free online course, visit the Petrology course page.

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