J. Michael Brown
Applications of condensed matter physics to various geophysical problems. Topics vary, but usually include the thermal properties of relevant geophysical materials, the equation of state for the Earth's mantle and core, defects in solids and their roles in tectonophysics. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.
Experimental and theoretical investigations into the physics and chemistry of earth materials with an emphasis on effects associated with high pressures and elevated temperatures. Every process within and every observation of Earth is associated with properties of the constituent materials. This course investigates the “controls” on these properties. Why do velocities, densities, conductivities, and more change with depth or lateral position? How much of the observed changes are caused by variations of pressure or temperature or composition or transformation of crystal structure? What can we predict?
Student learning goals
Be familiar with current 1-D radial and 3-D seismic “Earth Models”
Understand fundamental crystallographic and thermodynamic theory necessary to quantify the state of Earth and Earth constituents
Understand how Earth’s thermal and compositional state are constrained
Be able to calculate seismic velocities for earth constituents
Be familiar with current experimental and theoretical research tools
Be familiar with several current research topics of interest and how mineral physcis informs the discussion.
General method of instruction
Lecture and individual consultation
This graduate course assumes a solid undergraduate background in physics and chemistry. Homework is most easily accomplished using MATLAB
Class assignments and grading
Weekly homework assignments emphasize a practical application of fundamental ideas A final project requires integration of class material to address a current research question
40% weekly asignments 30% oral midterm 30% Final project