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EPSSI Seminar: Dr. Peter Buseck, Arizona State University

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Monday, October 21, 2019, 4:05 pm– 5:05 pm

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From Earth to Deep Space: A Half Century (Almost) of Nanomineralogy

Observations and measurements on the nanoscale have fundamentally changed our understanding of geological reactions, processes, and mineral histories. Nominally solid-state metamorphic reactions in which structural irregularities (“defects”) in complex minerals such as silicates and sulfides permit phase changes without extensive reconstructions provide examples. Also, highly disordered, seemingly aberrant minerals without well-defined unit cells are recognizable as intermediate, transitional species “frozen” prior to reaction completion.

Carbon provides an unusually rich set of compositionally simple mineralogical materials that are best understood when examined at high resolution. I will show examples of carbonaceous materials from meteorites as well as aerosol particles, including the evolution of spherical forms emited from wildfires and that we call tar balls. On the other extreme, we have been working on what we believe to be a new group of single-chain species that we call pseudocarbynes. In addition to their potential terrestrial importance, we suggest that they occur in and may answer fundamental questions about organic reactions and magnetic fields in the interstellar medium.




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  • Cailin Bishop

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