This virtual seminar series consists of talks on current applications of Materials Simulations to Earth and Planetary Sciences. It meets on select Mondays afternoons.

This area of research has expanded dramatically in recent years and has become an integral part of this research field. It is not an overstatement that the future of planetary sciences depends heavily on the ability to simulate processes taking place on planetary interiors, e.g., the unveiling of the internal structure of super-Earths. This seminar series aims to present state-of-the-art activities in this area not just by computational scientists but also by experimental scientists willing to motivate computational research in their respective areas of interest.

The attendance and speakers will be beyond Columbia University’s borders, and researchers from prominent centers will be invited to participate and/or give invited talks. Computational studies of planetary materials have focused to a great extent on very high pressures since this is the most challenging condition for experiments. We hope to bring to the forefront and motivate more research on lower pressures, e.g., < 10 GPa. This is a very challenging pressure range for materials simulations for multiple reasons, e.g., the approximations used in simulations are less accurate at low pressures, and the abundance of complex experimental information at these pressures forces simulations to deal with controversial data. 

A zoom link will be offered to scientists beyond Columbia University’s borders who wish to participate regularly. Most presentations will be recorded and made available to the Earth Sciences community.

Host: Renata Wentzcovitch,
APAM and DEES, Columbia Engineering


All seminars take place online on Monday afternoons (unless othewise noted). A Zoom link will be provided a few days before the event. Contact Prof. Wentzcovitch for more information.

3:00-4:00 PM ET
Christine McCarthy, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Video: Ice rheology applied to planetary bodies: what we know and what we don’t know

3:00-4:00 PM ET
Yang Sun, Department of Physics, Iowa State University and APAM, Columbia University
Video: Simultations of iron in the Earth's core conditions


3:00-4:00 PM ET
Bijaya Karki, Louisiana State University
“First-principles Computation of Earth's Mantle Materials: A Review and New Perspectives”

2:00-3:30 PM ET
Shun-ichiro Karato, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Yale University
Video: What do we want to learn about the physical  properties of super-Earths from theoretical mineral physics?

2:00-3:30 PM
Ian Ocampo, Princeton University
Video: Dynamic compression of iron oxides to multi-megabar pressures

Special day: Thursday, 2:00 PM ET

Dan Shim, Arizona State University
"Dissolution of Calcium into Bridgmanite and Disappearance of Davemaoite in Warm Regions of the Lower Mantle"
Download Nature Article

2:30-3:30 PM ET
Mark Tuckerman, Chemistry Department, New York University
“Simulation studies of molecule and ion transport in hydrogen-bonded media”

Download Presentation Slides

2:00-3:00 PM ET
Peter Kelemen, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University
Download Presentation Slides

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM ET, MSE Seminar (extra)
Pablo PIaggi, Department of Chemistry, Princeton University
Video: Understanding Crystallization of ice polymorphs from first principles

2:00-3:00 PM ET
Baosheng Li, Stony Brook University
Video: “On the elasticity of serpentines”

2:00-3:00 PM ET
Einat Lev, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University

Video: "Studying multiphase suspensions using analogs and field examples, with applications to magma and lava flows"

2:00-3:00 PM ET
Yves Moussallam, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University

Video: "Experimental investigations of magmas under crustal to upper-mantle conditions"

Jie Deng, Department of Geosciences, Princeton University

"Water in the lower mantle"

Albrecht Hofmann, Max Planck Institute for Chemistry
Video: "A New Look at Crust-Mantle Differentiation"
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No seminar (AGU Meeting)