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Friedrich Mohs
Friedrich Mohs, 1832

Friedrich Mohs was a scientist who studied minerals and rocks, a German minerologist.

Job and Career

Scientist Mohs was born in Germany, and he was a minerologist who studied minerals, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. He was born in 1773, January 29th, and died in 1839, September 29.

He moved to Austria in 1801 where he found a job identifying minerals in a collection that belonged to a rich banker. He used physical characteristics of the crystals to decide what they were. One of the characteristics he used to identify minerals was hardness.

He knew that some of the minerals could scratch others and that if a mineral could make a scratch on another, it must be harder than the mineral that was scratched. He found that all minerals could scratch the mineral talc, so it must be very soft. He also found that diamonds were so hard that no other minerals could scratch them.

About ten years later, Friedrich made a scale from one to 10 to describe mineral hardness. He gave harder minerals larger numbers and softer minerals smaller numbers. Talc, the softest mineral, he assigned to one, the smallest number on the scale. Diamond, the hardest mineral, he assigned to 10, the largest number on the scale. This scale was called Mohs scale of mineral hardness, named after Friedrich Mohs.

Later Career

In 1812, Mohs became professor in Graz; in 1818, professor in Freiberg, Saxony; in 1826, professor in ViennaIn 1817, Mohs replaced his mentor Werner, who had died, as a tutor at the mining academy in Freiberg, where he worked for nine years, until he was appointed as a professor of Mineralogy at the University of Vienna.

Mohs ended his remarkable career as a mining advisor at the Mining University in Leoban and died aged 66, while holidaying in Italy.

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