I'm a writer and I'm working on a Sci-Fi novel in which an important aspect will be a fictional mineral that is found.
This mineral will be able to produce a metal that is much stronger than traditional metals and alloys, allowing the people to produce starships that require much less maintenance and to take more of a pounding.
Scientifically speaking, where in a planet would such a mineral exist if it were to exist?
My plot line was going to have it so that this mineral was only found deep down, making it very difficult to mine. But I would like to know if there are any geological 'rules' that would dictate where such a mineral would be.
It is a hard question. Because inside the earth pressures and temperatures are very high, minerals formed there are very compact and dense and some of them are among the most tenacious minerals on earth, say diamond (a form of carbon) and stishovite (a form of SiO2 (glass), 4.3 times denser than water). As well as hard they are also very dense and so unsuitable for building space ships. Moreover though one crystal of diamond is tenacious, you cannot glue pieces of diamond together.
When the minerals grow they take the shape of the space in which they grow in, or when they grow in free space they take the shape of the natural crystal. And it donít think it is feasible to have a mineral shaped like a spacecraft.
My guess is the best staff to make a spaceship from is a form of alloy. Different chemical elements can be purified, melted, mixed together and poured into molds to form the desired shape. Meanwhile, they might have lower densities, while they are strong as well. Such alloys can have Ti, Pt, Pd, C and Al as a constituent. The proportion of these elements can be very important. Pt and Pd are more abundant inside the earth, but the thing is that all of these elements exist on the surface of earth too. Nevertheless, certain minerals might exist only in certain locations in the earth.
I hope it is useful for you.