Unraveling the secrets of planetary interiors

From crust to core, experimental petrologists, we decipher the geological history of Earth and other planetary bodies and the processes that lead to surfaces capable of supporting life.

Armed with the Earth and Planets Laboratory's state-of-the-art high-pressure facilities, our researchers simulate the intense pressures and temperatures found within a planet's mantle and core. By subjecting geological materials to these extreme conditions, we seek to understand the physical and chemical processes governing the evolution of planetary interiors.

Top Questions

Tools of the Trade

Experiments at pressure and temperature conditions ranging from planetary crusts to cores are made using a wide range of tools, including 1 atm furnaces, cold-seal devices, piston cylinders, multi-anvil presses, laser-heated diamond anvil cells, and dynamic compression facilities. We analyze and characterize natural and experimental samples using our wide-ranging in-house capabilities, including SEM, EPMA, FIB, NMR, Raman, FTIR, and X-ray diffraction.

We use national and international synchrotron facilities to probe samples in situ at micron and sub-micron scales. Theoretical approaches utilize high-performance computing systems both on and off-campus.

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