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Over centuries mineralogy has developed from a mainly descriptive scientific discipline to a quantitative experimental research field covering a wide area. A broad spectrum of different mineralogical disciplines, ranging in their topics from the macroscopic physical and chemical properties of igneous rocks up to the atomic structures and characteristics of minerals, crystals and materials is applied today. Mineralogy can be regarded as a field of both Earth sciences and materials science and is an extraordinarily manifold scientific discipline with numerous points of contact to geology, chemistry, physics and materials science, characterised by the large variety of methods used in basic and applied research.

A wide variety of analytical methods such as diffraction methods, microscopy, thermal analysis and spectroscopy is used in the different research fields of mineralogy, each method contributing small pieces to the large puzzle of unsolved scientific questions. Often several methods fail in the investigation of structural aspects as in the case of amorphous materials (e.g. glasses from magmatic melts) or microcrystalline materials and for specific structural questions, e.g. the location and dynamics of hydrogen atoms in minerals. Solid state nuclear magnetic resonance can be an ideal complementary method here.

All nuclei that possess a magnetic moment (I > 0) are able to provide detailed information about their local environments as local probe, e.g. about bond angles, neighbouring atoms (1st and 2nd coordination sphere), local symmetry, the coordination number, as well as being sensitive to dynamic processes (Chandrakumar & Subramanian, 1987; Ernst et al., 1987; Fyfe, 1983; Slichter, 1990).

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