The Bureau of Economic Geology The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences

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Bureau Seminar, February 12, 2010

Mineral Physics Research Under Extreme Environments


Link to streaming video: available 02.12.2010 at 8:25am

Dr. Jung-Fu “Afu” Lin
Assistant Professor
Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences
The University of Texas at Austin

Mineral physics research focuses on the investigation of the physical, chemical, rheological properties of planetary materials under extreme environments. Research in mineral physics is essential in interpreting observational data from many other disciplines in the Earth sciences, including geodynamics, seismology, geochemistry, petrology, geomagnetism, and planetary science, as well as materials science and energy-related studies. The Mineral Physics Laboratory at the Jackson School of Geosciences, established in 2008, actively employs high pressure-temperature diamond anvil cells coupled with optical and synchrotron X-ray spectroscopies to understand earth materials properties under extreme environments. Recent advances in these techniques in turn have unleashed a plethora of research opportunities.

In this talk, I will present current results and future research capabilities/opportunities at the Mineral Physics Lab, including example studies on deep-Earth silicates and iron alloys, liquid water and volatiles under hydrothermal conditions, carbonates and CO2 at high pressures and temperatures, hydrocarbon cracking, transition metal compounds, superhard and amorphous materials, and novel iron-based superconductors. The Mineral Physics Lab is also a team member of the Energy Frontier Research under Extreme Environments (EFree) and Center for Frontiers of Subsurface Energy Security (CFCES) of the DOE’s Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs), which aims to address the Grand Challenges and Basic Research Needs outlined by DOE. I will showcase how research under extreme conditions can deepen our understanding of materials behavior, providing the key knowledge to meet burgeoning energy needs. Potential collaboration opportunities will be given in the talk so as to stimulate researchers at the Jackson School to pursue mineral physics research prospectively.

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