Aug 26, 2023

Physicists synthesize single-crystalline iron in the form likely found in Earth’s core

Posted by in categories: materials, physics

A team of physicists and geologists at CEA DAM-DIF and Universit´e Paris-Saclay, working with a colleague from ESRF, BP220, F-38043 Grenoble Cedex and another from the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, has succeeded in synthesizing a single-crystalline iron in a form that iron has in the Earth’s core.

In their published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the group describes how they used an experimental approach to synthesize pure single-crystalline ε-iron and possible uses for the material.

In trying to understand Earth’s internal composition, scientists have had to rely mostly on seismological data. Such studies have led scientists to believe that the core is solid and that it is surrounded by liquid. But questions have remained. For example, back in the 1980s, studies revealed that seismic waves travel faster through the Earth when traveling pole to pole versed equator to equator, and no one could explain why.

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