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Geological Sciences Seminar: June Wicks, Johns Hopkins University

Tuesday, Feb 11, 2020 12:00 PM
GeoCorner 220 - 450 Serra Mall, Building 320
More Info:


Faculty/Staff, Students, Alumni/Friends
Department of Geological Science

** Please join us for coffee and cookies in the GeoCorner Undergraduate lounge (bldg. 320, rm 114) before the talk, at 11:30am! - Seminar will be in room 220~

MgO, the simplest oxide

Of the over 6,000 confirmed and candidate extrasolar planets discovered to date, those 1-4 times the radius of the Earth are found to be most abundant. MgO is expected to be a major component of the deep mantles of terrestrial planets and exoplanets. Its high-pressure transformation from a rocksalt (B1) structure to the B2 (CsCl) structure is expected to occur in rocky exoplanets greater than about 5 Earth masses in size. In this talk, I will introduce how the field of high pressure experiments is exploding, especially in the field of dynamic compression, giving us direct experimental access to the conditions in the interiors of large planets. As we push to higher pressures and higher temperatures, we learn more about the properties and phase transitions of minerals that control planetary formation and evolution. I will talk about future and ongoing work on the study of the MgO phase diagram and discuss the challenges and implications of dynamic compression on geosciences.

June Wicks is an assistant professor in the Earth and Planetary Sciences department of Johns Hopkins University. She is a fellow of the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute and holds a joint appointment in the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering. Her research group’s current interests include planetary interiors and evolution, building equation of state and phase diagram models of matter at extreme conditions, and kinetics of phase transitions at extreme conditions.

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