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Institut de minéralogie, de physique des matériaux et de cosmochimie

Planetary cores

Planetary cores are made of iron alloys but also contain light elements. Indeed, to explain the density of the Earth’s core, about 10% of light elements are needed. Among these elements, sulfur, carbon and hydrogen are good candidates. The presence of these light elements affects the partitioning of other elements present in trace amounts (e.g. platinum group elements) between core and mantle reservoirs during planetary differentiation. Therefore, experimental data devoted to determining their potential presence in planetary cores, and the corresponding physical consequences, are required and involve different strategies: static experiments (diamond anvil cells, multi-anvil and piston cyclinder presses…) and dynamic compression (shock experiments) combined with analytical methods devoted to characterize volatiles (MP3).


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