Pegmatite is the trading name of a geological imaging partnership managed by
Andy Tindle B.Sc., Ph.D, D.Sc., F.Min.Soc.

Andy worked for many years at the Open University where he was a scientific officer in the Department of Earth Sciences. He is now an honorary visitor to the STEM Faculty at the OU.

He has published widely on granite pegmatites and is also the author of the comprehensive treatise on mineralogy titled “Minerals of Britain and Ireland”. His passion is mineralogy and his life has revolved around microscopy and mineral analysis. He was one of the founder members of the Virtual Microscope team who developed a suite of innovative teaching tools for Earth Science courses at the OU. The latest versions of these are now available on-line (www.virtualmicroscope.org).

The success of virtual microscopes and interactive hand specimens (object movies) was such that it attracted external funding and this allowed the creation of open source collections - the first being the UK Virtual Microscope collection. These “tools” proved popular with other universities (Leeds, Durham and a consortium of Irish universities). These universities commissioned their own virtual microscope collections and had them built using samples from their own teaching collections. GeoLab is the largest of these university collections.

Virtual microscopes have also found a use in museum environments, the first being commissioned for the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Darwin. This collection forms part of the “Darwin the Geologist” exhibition in Sedgwick Museum, Cambridge. Another historic collection Cornish Mineral Heritage is based on historic mineral specimens and was made with Arts Council funding in collaboration with Royal Cornwall Museum (Truro).

The scope of virtual microscopes is not restricted to samples from Earth, and a number of extraterrestrial collections have been made. Working with the Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) the Apollo Moon Rock collection was produced, and later a Europlanet collection based on meteorites was made. The British and Irish meteorites collection followed (in association with the Natural History Museum in London). Martian meteorite, Greenland and St Austell granite collections have also been made. Most recently a major update to the Apollo Moon Rock collection was completed thanks to funding from NASA.

Contact Andy at andy@pegmatite.co.uk for further details.

Thin sections, rocks, minerals and fossils - the starting materials for virtual microscopes, object movies and large format images.