Suki Dorfman is COMPRES Distinguished Lecturer 2017-2018

Text of the announcement from COMPRES:

COMPRES announces the speakers for its 2017-2018 Distinguished Lecture series in the field of Mineral Physics. The talks feature topics that highlight high-pressure geoscience research being conducted within the COMPRES community and its significance for understanding fundamental Earth and planetary processes.

We are pleased to announce that the COMPRES Distinguished Lecturers for 2017-2018 are Suki Dorfman of Michigan State University and Quentin Williams of University of California, Santa Cruz.

The Distinguished Lecture Series was established in 2008 and its objectives include the following
(1) To inform students and faculty at a variety of institutions about the new and exciting work being done within the COMPRES community and at COMPRES facilities, and highlight the connections this work has to other areas of Earth and planetary science and related fields.
(2) To connect COMPRES with members of related scientific research communities (i.e. seismology, geodynamics, geochemistry, material science, planetary, etc.) to help bridge gaps in knowledge and identify areas of mutual interest and/or intersection of ideas.

We invite you to request a visit of a COMPRES lecturer to your institution during the coming academic year. COMPRES will fund all travel costs for the speaker, including transportation, accommodation and meals. There is no cost to the hosting institution. The host colleges or universities will be expected to arrange the talks and provide local logistical support. If your institution is interested in requesting a visit, please send your request to Beth Ha [beth3ha@unm.edu] with cc to Carl Agee, President of COMPRES [agee@unm.edu].

Lecture abstracts:

(1) “The Mineral Physics Test Kitchen: Recipes for Earth’s Mantle and Core”
The interiors of Earth and other planets were “cooked” by processes of accretion and
differentiation and can be “tasted” by geochemical sampling at the surface and remote geophysical observations of physical properties at depth. Mineral physics experiments and simulations seek to reverse-engineer the recipes that generate the features we detect in the deep Earth today. Because Earth and other planets are almost entirely composed of materials at high pressures and temperatures, the key to translating geophysical observations to structure and composition is the dependence of mineral stability and physical properties such as density, elasticity, and transport properties on composition and thermodynamic conditions. I will discuss recent observations of chemical reactions and properties of minerals relevant to Earth’s mantle and core, and implications of these experiments for the compositions of layers and regions in the deep Earth.

(2) “Redox in Earth’s Interior: Iron and Carbon”
Iron, one of the most abundant elements in our planet, and carbon, the basic element of life, have in common the ability to adopt different electronic states as a result of the range of oxidation conditions that occur on and inside Earth. A wide variety of redox reactions involving iron and/or carbon play important roles in volcanism, deep volatile cycles, planetary dynamics, and our understanding of differences in chemistry in space and time within the Earth. Recent research from the mineral physics community has discovered new iron- and carbon-bearing minerals stabilized by extreme pressures and temperatures of the mantle and core. I’ll dive in to the chemical history and interior structure of the Earth, with a focus on the dynamics of these redox-active materials.

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