A general discussion of the problems of silicate surface chemistry is offered in order to describe the surface phenomena and to make significant surface contributions in petrologic relationships. The application of the principles of crystal and physical chemistry to surface phenomena make possible interpretations, generalizations, and predictions with a minimum of assumptions. Surface compositions for various silicates differ markedly from the mineral compositions and differ for different surfaces of the minerals. Surface phenomena are interpreted in terms of a proposed atomistic ion exchange-crystal growth model that makes significant the roles of water, atomic order, and interfacial energy, Several degrees of atomic order are proposed for muscovite. It is suggested that several ordered states might occur in disordering process. Crystal growth, crystal habit, preferred mineral associations, oriented exsolutions, and overgrowths and the formation of rocks instead of loose assemblages of grains and the texture, structure and fabric of the rock are in large part the result of the system's response to solve the problems and minimize the energy created by the mineral surfaces.