Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

En Route to the Center of the Earth and Other Interesting Side Trips

Serge Desgreniers
Department of Physics, University of Ottawa

Wednesday, February 11, 2004
1:30 PM @ Stirling A

Abstract:

For ages Nature has brought pressure and temperature together to control stellar evolution, to metallize hydrogen inside giant planets, to convert graphite into beautiful diamonds, and perhaps to provide the conditions necessary for the development of life itself. Whereas extreme pressure/temperature conditions in stars are out of reach, thermodynamic conditions prevailing at the centre of the Earth can now be reproduced on a bench top using diamond anvil cells. In this talk, I will explore the role of pressure as a basic thermodynamic variable which can be used to transform matter. The current excitement in high pressure physics will be illustrated by a few of many recent advances and results, from modest to Earth's core pressure conditions, on various systems like ice, hydrogen, and Earth and refractory materials. Live and/or videotaped examples of remarkable pressure-induced transitions in solids will also be demonstrated.

Refreshments will be available after the talk.