Summary and Info
The preparation of a volume on this topic was undertaken with some hesitancy on my part because the ramifications of the mineralogy of apatite involve both bio logical and physical sciences in very elaborate ways. This hesitancy may have arisen in part from the realization that considerable skill would be required in order to extract the meaning from the thousands of papers that have appeared within the past twenty years; the task of attempting to extract and assemble the usable information seemed gigantic. Greatly adding to the difficulty was the fact that a considerable portion of these journal articles contain nothing of value and further confuse a most complex topic. Nevertheless, it was thought that some of my formal education in the bio logical sciences, which has been greatly extended and augmented during the past fifteen years, might be integrated with my more extensive education and experience in chemistry, crystallography, mineralogy, geology and physics in order to pro duce something that would relate to the mineral apatite and its extremely diverse occurences in nature. At the same time it seemed essential to point out some of the many important aspects in which this knowledge bears on geology, agriculture, chemical engineering, medicine and dentistry.
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