HGMS Presentation: “Mineral Identification: Exploring Crystals” by Myra Soroczak


On 24 May 2016 at 6:30 p.m., Myra Soroczak will present “Mineral Identification: Exploring Crystals”. She will continue our look at mineral identification by exploring Crystal Form and Mineral Habits. She will discuss crystal forms and define the six crystal systems into which all minerals fit. She will show examples of various mineral habits, which sometimes disguise the ideal form of a mineral.

Myra holds a Master Degree in Materials Science from Louisiana State University. Her first courses in mineralogy was in 1977, when TVA sent Myra to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa to take Earth Science, Geology, Mineralogy, and Optical Mineralogy. She has also taken Gem Identification and Wire Wrapping Courses at William Holland School of Lapidary Art. Myra recently took advantage of being in her 60’s to take a tuition-free course in Mineralogy at UNA!

At TVA in Muscle Shoals and IBM in Wappinger Falls, New York, Myra spent 23 years doing chemical research and material identification. She then spent another 16 years doing business analysis for TVA.  Myra began her career in 1970 at TVA using a transmission electron microscope to investigate minerals; the lowest magnification of the TEM was 5,000x. Two years later TVA bought a scanning electron microscope with an electron diffraction x-ray detector; she then used the SEM/EDX to analyze the shape and chemistry of all sorts of crystals, minerals, and metals.  At IBM, Myra used a SEM to do failure analysis on semiconductors back when the biggest silicon crystals were only 2.5 inches and the big struggle was to go from one level of metal to two to make computer chips.  At TVA, she also conducted chemical research and holds 3 patents.  Since retiring from TVA in 2009, Myra with her husband Mike have opened M S Enterprises, a small business that sells “Rocks and Things from Rocks.” They sell their wares each First Friday in Florence Alabama and at various Gem and Mineral Shows in AL, MS, GA, and TN, including the Annual HGMS Jewelry, Gem, and Mineral Show.

You won’t want to miss this one! Should be quite interesting!