Solid Earth Dynamics.
PhD project title:
Investigating the Density of a Chondritic Melt Under High Pressure, and Implications for Earth Formation.
My project is concerned with the material properties of chondritic melt, under high pressure and temperature conditions. This will be investigated using experimental methods, combing a diamond anvil cell with x-ray tomography.
The experimental results will also be compared with theoretical, ab initio quantum mechanical, calculations performed using the VASP software package. A chondrite (a type of stony meteorite) will be used as a source material for both the experimental and theoretical study. This is because a chondrite can be used to represent the bulk composition of the Earth, as it formed from the same material during the formation of the solar system. Furthermore, the parent asteroid for this meteorite has remained undifferentiated in space, meaning we can sample material that is comparable to the material that formed our planet. The main material property that I will obtain is the density of the chondritic melt, alongside this I will also obtain the equation of state (EoS). Finding the value of density gives an insight into how the earth differentiated from a magma ocean into the chemically differentiated layers (crust, mantle and core) we see today.