Thursday, October 25, 2012

Putting on the pressure


So, one summer I worked at a lab, exposing geological samples to high pressure.  This was a god-awful complicated machine they got from some scientific junk yard.  It was a bitch!  For the whole summer we never got to full pressure without some leak, or an anvil cracking.

Now, for something completely different:

Seems they got this working, and they use a brand new compound - diamond glass!  Sounds nifty.

For geology, we only need pressures up to the centre of the earth, so this seems overkill, but planetary science needs higher pressures.  But if we can easily get up to the pressure of the core, then this will help us with things like the magnetic dynamo, and help figure out the core - did things just settle when the earth melted, or is this an ancient untouched remnant from the planet's formation?  Such exciting things!

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