High Pressure, Materials, Matter at Extreme States

New work from a team led by the Geophysical Laboratory’s Alexander Goncharov confirms that nitrogen, the dominant gas in Earth’s atmosphere, becomes a metallic fluid when subjected to the extreme pressure and temperature conditions found deep inside the Earth and other planets. Their findings are published by Nature Communications.

Geochemistry, Mineralogy

A team of scientists including the Geophysical Laboratory’s Michael Ackerson and Bjørn Mysen revealed that granites from Yosemite National Park contain minerals that crystallized at much lower temperatures than previously thought possible. This finding upends scientific understanding of how granites form and what they can teach us about our planet’s geologic history.

High Pressure, Materials, Matter at Extreme States

The Geophysical Laboratory's Jianjun Ying and Viktor Struzhkin are part of a team that have found an unusual pressure induced PLD in a TMDs-related material SnSe2. Their work is published in Physical Review Letters.


A team of scientists led by the Geophysical Laboratory’s Shaunna Morrison and including Bob Hazen have revealed the mineralogy of Mars at an unprecedented scale, which will help them understand the planet’s geologic history and habitability.

Astrobiology, Geochemistry

NASA’s Curiosity rover has discovered new “tough” organic molecules in three-billion-year-old sedimentary rocks on Mars, increasing the chances that the record of habitability and potential life could have been preserved on the Red Planet, despite extremely harsh conditions on the surface that can easily break down organic molecules.

The Geophysical Laboratory's Jinanjun Ying and Viktor Struzhkin were part of a team that has recently reported a superconducting state in a honeycomb lattice of iron atoms, which opens up a new structural playground for iron-based superconductivity. So far, all iron-based superconductors structurally adopt FeSe-type layers with a square iron(II) lattice.

A team of researchers including the Geophysical Laboratory’s Bob Hazen is using network analysis techniques—made popular through social media applications—to find patterns in Earth’s natural history, as detailed in a paper published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Science

High Pressure, Materials, Matter at Extreme States

The Geophysical Laboratory’s Tim Strobel and Venkata Bhadram now report unexpected quantum behavior of hydrogen molecules, H2, trapped within tiny cages made of organic molecules, demonstrating that the structure of the cage influences the behavior of the molecule imprisoned inside it.

The paradox of the missing xenon might sound like the title of the latest airport thriller, but it’s actually a problem that’s stumped geophysicists for decades. New work from an international team including the Geophysical Laboratory’s Alexander Goncharov and Hanyu Liu, and GL alumni Elissaios Stavrou and Sergey Lobanov, is chasing down the solution to this longstanding puzzle.

High Pressure, Materials, Matter at Extreme States

New work from the Geophysical Laboratory's high-pressure geophysicists Chuanlong Lin, Jesse Smith, Stanislav Sinogeikin, and Guoyin Shen found evidence of the long-theorized, difficult-to-see low-density liquid phase of water.