Rebecca A. Fischer, Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University
Earth formed 4.5 billion years ago in a series of giant collisions between other planetary bodies, the last of which produced the Moon. The fingerprints of this process can be seen in the chemical compositions of Earth and the Moon, which are remarkably similar. Mathematical models of Earth’s growth, the Moon’s formation, and their evolution to form metallic cores with rocky mantles and crusts offer greater understanding of these observations. Rebecca Fischer will look at the hypotheses for how Earth and the Moon came to be geochemical twins and she will present new models that offer insight into why this occurred.
Rebecca Fischer uses high-pressure, high-temperature mineral physics experiments and planetary-scale models to study the formation and chemical evolution of Earth, as well as the modern state of its interior. Using diamond anvil cells and laser-heating to experimentally recreate the high pressures and high temperatures of Earth's deep interior, combined with numerical simulations of accretion and differentiation, she studies the physical and chemical properties of Earth materials and the process of core formation. Fischer holds a B.A. in Earth and Planetary Sciences and Integrated Science from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. in Geophysical Sciences from the University of Chicago.
Lecture. Free and open to the public.
Free event parking at the 52 Oxford Street Garage
Presented by the Harvard Museum of Natural History.