California Institute of Technology
Seismological Laboratory Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences


Mineral Physics

We combine results from state-of-the-art experimental and computational techniques in mineral physics with geophysical observations, geochemical reasoning and geodynamic modeling to better understand Earth's deep interior. Specifically, we develop x-ray scattering techniques and pair them with samples inside a diamond-anvil cell to constrain properties such as, sound velocities, elastic tensors, density, spin states of iron, and melting points of deep Earth materials under extreme static pressures and high temperatures. Optical spectroscopy is used to understand the origin of color in minerals, local vibrational properties, and to quantify the amount of hydration in Earth materials. Shock wave techniques are developed and applied to systems under very high pressures and temperatures to understand the behavior of melts, silicates, and iron-alloys at the extreme conditions near Earth's core.

Seismo Lab scientists doing research in this area:


Graduate Students

Undergraduate Students

Postdoctoral Scholars

Visitor in Geophysics