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Science Highlights

Washington, D.C., 8 June 2016— Using laboratory techniques to mimic the conditions found deep inside the Earth, a team of Geophysical Laboratory scientists led by Ho-Kwang “Dave” Mao has identified a form of iron oxide that they believe could explain seismic and geothermal signatures in the deep mantle.

Washington, D.C., 1 June 2016— Earth's magnetic field shields us from deadly cosmic radiation, and without it, life as we know it could not exist here. The motion of liquid iron in the planet’s outer core, a phenomenon called a “geodynamo,” generates the field. But how it was first created and then sustained throughout Earth’s history has remained a mystery to scientists. New work published in Nature from a team led by the Geophysical Laboratory's Alexander Goncharov sheds light on the history of this incredibly important geologic occurrence.

Nagoya, Japan, 11 May 2016—Ronald Cohen was an invited speaker at the AMTC5 workshop in Nagoya May 11-13, 2016 and spoke on "Strong Coupling Ferroelectrics, How They Work and How They Can Be Improved."  He then visited ELSI (Earth and Life Sciences Institute) at Tokyo Tech and spoke on “First-principles studies of the deep Earth.”

Washington, D.C., 28 April 2016—New work from a research team led by the Geophysical Laboratory's Anat Shahar contains some unexpected findings about iron chemistry under high-pressure conditions, such as those likely found in the Earth’s core, where iron predominates and creates our planet’s life-shielding magnetic field. Their results could shed light on Earth’s early days when the core was formed through a process called differentiation.