X-ray Diffraction (XRD)
A technique used to identify minerals and other crystalline materials by bombarding them with X-rays. Planes of repetition within the atomic structure of the mineral diffract the X-rays. The pattern of diffraction is unique for each mineral structure and can be used for mineral identification. This method of identification is much more reliable than hand-specimen identification and is used when hand-specimen identification is not possible, difficult, or has produced questionable results.