A Grad student at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute recently unveiled the interaction between the core of the Earth and the mantle. The student is Leslie Hayden. Using heavy equipment and very innovative techniques, Leslie managed to perform the experiment.
Hayden experimented with the relation between the Earth’s core as well as the mantle. This experiment might actually change how the Geologists look at the Earth. This has been a very ground breaking research after all. As a part of their experiment, Hayden and his professor Bruce Watson created a simulator that would mimic the Earth’s core along with the mantle.
Geologists revealed previously that the highly pressurized core of the earth is mainly composed of iron and nickel. So for the experiment to work, the grad student along with his colleague used a rock which is found in between what the scientists call the source layer and the sink layer.
The experiment was conducted in such a manner that even the heating temperature was identical to the earth’s core. Each and every material that represented the core of the earth were heated to extreme temperatures. The findings according to the duo were:
[In our experiments], some of the metals moved through grain boundaries at surprisingly fast rates-about as fast as sodium ions move through water.
Hayden and Watson theorized that the atoms of the metals move right along the surface sandwiched between adjacent grains of rock. The scope of the findings is enormous! These findings are important not only for scientific reasons, but also for economic reasons. I think the results of this experiment might lead us to valuable materials someday. The experiment was published in the Nature journal.
Image Credit: Kidsgeo