Here’s another instalment tour into The Hidden Land.
As before, this collection features rocks and minerals highlighting their unique properties and formations. I always try to take as macro a shot as I can without loosing too much information about my subjects. With this series, I was handicapped as the specimens were behind glass cases; they were taken at the Australian Museum. I also only had what light was available there so positioning myself to get the best angles was key to capturing the images I wanted.
Pyrite is used commercially for the production of sulfur dioxide, for use in such applications as the paper industry, and in the manufacture of sulfuric acid.
During the early years of the 20th century, pyrite was used as a mineral detector in radio receivers, and is still used by ‘crystal radio’ hobbyists. Until the vacuum tube matured, the crystal detector was the most sensitive and dependable detector available- with considerable variation between mineral types and even individual samples within a particular type of mineral. The most sensitive mineral was galena, which was very sensitive also to mechanical vibration, and easily knocked off the sensitive point; the most stable were perikon mineral pairs; and midway between was the pyrites detector, which is approximately as sensitive as a modern 1N34A diode detector.
Pyrite has been proposed as an abundant inexpensive material in low cost photovoltaic solar panels.