Peter Driscoll studies the evolution of Earth’s core and magnetic field including magnetic pole reversal. Over the last 20 million or so years, the north and south magnetic poles on Earth have reversed about every 200,000, to 300,000 years and is now long overdue. He also investigates the Earth’s inner core structure; core-mantle coupling; tectonic-volatile cycling; orbital migration—how Earth’s orbit moves—and tidal dissipation—the dissipation of tidal forces between two closely orbiting bodies. He is also interested in planetary interiors, dynamos, upper planetary atmospheres and exoplanets—planets orbiting other stars. He uses large-scale numerical simulations in much of his research.
Driscoll received his BS in physics and astronomy from Dickenson College; his MS in physics and astronomy from San Francisco State University; and his MA and Ph D in Earth and planetary science from The Johns Hopkins University. Before joining the Terrestrial Magnetism staff, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Yale and the University of Washington.