from E! Science News
A new kind of metal in the deep Earth
Published: Monday, December 19, 2011 – 12:24 in Physics & Chemistry
The crushing pressures and intense temperatures in Earth’s deep interior squeeze atoms and electrons so closely together that they interact very differently. With depth materials change. New experiments and supercomputer computations have revealed that iron oxide undergoes a new kind of transition under deep Earth conditions. Iron oxide, FeO, is a component of the second most abundant mineral at Earth’s lower mantle, ferropericlase. The finding, published in an upcoming issue of Physical Review Letters, could alter our understanding of deep Earth dynamics and the behavior of the protective magnetic field, which shields our planet from harmful cosmic rays. . . . continue Report
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