One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A shiny silicate mineral with a layered structure, found as minute scales in granite and other rocks, or as crystals. It is used as a thermal or electrical insulator.
- ‘The foliation is marked by chloritc, white mica and minute quartz grains.’
- ‘This partial drying could remove some of the water layer between mica and the bilayer, increasing the electrostatic repulsion between the substrate and lipid.’
- ‘The next most common minerals are silicates, such as mica, feldspar, pyroxene, and the olivines, which break down to clay, the soluble elements they contain being mostly carried away in solution.’
- ‘After the death of these organisms, radioactive carbon in the soft tissues of the organisms was converted into a film of mica and silicates, creating a stain in the rock layer.’
- ‘The mineral assemblage comprises quartz, K-feldspar, albitic plagioclase, white mica, apatite, tourmaline and garnet.’
Early 18th century: from Latin, literally ‘crumb’.
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