Research Highlights

Virtual journey to centre of the Earth hints at planet's history

Laboratory studies of iron at very high temperatures and pressures, like those found in the Earth’s core, enable a better understanding of the history of Earth’s magnetic field, which is driven by the behaviour of its outer core – a reservoir of churning liquid iron beneath the planet’s rocky mantle.  The experiments find that Earth’s magnetic field, which protects life on its surface from harmful radiation from space, might have existed since the planet’s formation, accommodating the early spread of life on the planet.

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A BBC interview with Stewart McWilliams can be heard here at 55 mins: