Talc (derived from the Persian tālk (تالک ), Arabic talk (تلك)) is a mineral composed of hydrated magnesium silicate with the chemical formula H2Mg3(SiO3)4 or Mg3Si4O10(OH)2. In loose form, it is the widely used substance known as talcum powder. It occurs as foliated to fibrous masses, and in an exceptionally rare crystal form. It has a perfect basal cleavage, and the folia are non-elastic, although slightly flexible. It is the softest known mineral and listed as 1 on the Mohs hardness scale. It can be easily scratched by a fingernail. It is also sectile (can be cut with a knife). It has a specific gravity of 2.5–2.8, a clear or dusty luster, and is translucent to opaque. Talc is not soluble in water, but it is slightly soluble in dilute mineral acids. Its colour ranges from white to grey or green and it has a distinctly greasy feel. Its streak is white.
Soapstone is a metamorphic rock composed predominantly of talc.