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The Geophysical Laboratory was established in 1905 to investigate the processes that control the composition and structure of the Earth as it was known at the time, including developing the underlying physics and chemistry and creating the experimental tools required for the task. Over a century later, this core mission has expanded to include the physics, chemistry, and biology of the Earth over the entire range of conditions our planet has experienced since its formation, as well as parallel studies of other planets of this and other solar systems from their surfaces to their cores.

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Matter at Extreme States
Under pressure, hydrogen offers a reflection of giant planet interiors

Lab-based mimicry allowed an international team of physicists including the Geophysical Laboratory’s Alexander Goncharov to probe hydrogen under the conditions found in the interiors of giant planets—where experts believe it gets squeezed until it becomes a liquid metal, capable of conducting electricity. Their work is published in Science.

Matter at Extreme States
What makes diamonds blue? Boron from oceanic crustal remnants in Earth's lower mantle

Blue diamonds—like the world-famous Hope Diamond at the National Museum of Natural History—formed up to four times deeper in the Earth’s mantle than most other diamonds, according to new work by Carnegie’s Steven Shirey, Emma Bullock, and Jianhua Wang and published on the cover of Nature.