Mineral Named in Honor of Distinguished Professor Alexandra Navrotsky
By UC Davis Department of Chemistry
The International Mineralogical Association has named a mineral in honor of Alexandra Navrotsky, MSE distinguished professor and director of the NEAT Center and Peter A. Rock Thermochemistry Laboratory.
Navrotskyite -- K2Na10(UO2)3(SO4)9·2H2O -- occurs underground in the Blue Lizard mine, Red Canyon, White Canyon District, San Juan County, Utah. Crystals of navrotskyite occur as thin tapered needles in radial sprays and as tightly intergrown aggregates resembling fiber optic bundles. The structure consists of [(UO2)(SO4)3]4– chains connected via a complex framework of K-O and Na-O polyhedra, which are closely related to the uranyl sulfate minerals fermiite, meisserite, and pseudomeisserite-(NH4). Navrotskyite is named for American physical chemist, geochemist and materials scientist Dr. Alexandra Navrotsky (born 1943).
The crystal structure of navrotskyite viewed down a. The unit cell is indicated by dashed blue lines.