Professor Lars Stixrude
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Elasticity and thermochemistry of mantle minerals
    Prediction of elastic constants at mantle conditions
    Energetics of and structure of solid solutions at high pressure

The elastic response of earth materials is important for a number of geological processes including seismic wave propagation, which also serves as our primary probe of the structure of Earth's interior. First principles prediction of the elastic constants of mantle minerals allows us to interpret seismic models in terms of the composition and thermal state of the deep interior and, through the elastic anisotropy, mantle flow. We have recently become interested in the elastic properties of solid solutions, which in addition to being geophysically important, present intriguing theoretical challenges. The energetics of solid soltion are also important for understanding mineral chemistry at depth, which is still poorly understood.

Further Reading:

Kiefer, B., L. Stixrude, and R. M. Wentzcovitch, Elasticity of (Mg,Fe)SiO3-perovskite at high pressures, Geophysical Research Letters, 29, art. no. 014683, 2002 PDF

Karki, B. B., L. Stixrude, and R. M. Wentzcovitch, Elastic properties of major materials of earth's mantle from first principles, Reviews of Geophysics, 39, 507-534, 2001 PDF
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