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ExPeRT group photo, March 2015
ExPeRT members in March 2015: from left to right - Shuo (Echo) Ding, Sriparna Saha, Megan S. Duncan, Laura B. Carter, James Eguchi, Rajdeep Dasgupta, Kyusei Tsuno, and Yuan Li. Missing from the picture is Rice undergraduate Michelle Muth who finished her senior thesis work in our group in Spring 2015

We are interested in the chemistry of Earth and planetary interiors with a particular emphasis on the role of magma and magma generation on the differentiation and chemical evolution of terrestrial planets involving atmosphere, crust, mantle, and core. We use experimental devices such as piston cylinder and multi anvil apparatus for simulating high pressure-temperature conditions relevant for planetary interiors and various analytical techniques to characterize synthesized samples. We continue to add new analytical techniques to the repertoire of methods to characterize our experiments but some of the micro-analytical techniques we regularly use now are EPMA, SEM, SIMS, LA-ICP-MS, FTIR, Raman spectroscopy, and XRD. The objectives are to determine, for example, solidus and liquidus temperatures of rocks at high pressures, the composition of partial melts (magmas) formed at high pressures, the partitioning behavior of major and key trace elements between minerals and melts during melting and melt-mantle reaction, and the speciation and concentration of volatiles in magmas to understand petrogenesis and differentiation. Basically, we use small-scale experiments to solve large-scale problems. Although we spend most of our times fiddling with small parts, squeezing a pinch of rock powders in the lab, and sitting in front of spread sheets, our minds are always buried deeply in the mantle, core, and crust of the Earth.


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