Simons Foundation Lectures

SF Lecture: Traces of Catastrophe: How Violent Collisions Shaped Our Habitable Planet

America/New_York
Zoom

Zoom

Description

Registration link:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/traces-of-catastrophe-how-violent-collisions-shaped-our-habitable-planet-registration-125529473033

The energy released during planetary-scale collisions exceeds our common experience. Our planet was transformed into unfamiliar physical states multiple times during and after the main stage of accretion. Extreme temperatures drove chemical pathways that are not attainable today. These chemical tracers of catastrophic events provide key clues to the origin of our habitable planet.

In this lecture, Sarah Stewart will discuss how Earth has been sculpted by planetary-scale collisions, from the giant impact that created the moon to mass extinctions from global environmental destruction. She will present how it is now possible to reach the pressures and temperatures of planetary collisions in laboratory experiments to study the thermodynamic properties of planetary materials at the extremes of nature. These data, incorporated into numerical simulations, provide the necessary information to predict the chemical outcomes of collisions. Recent studies point towards new explanations for puzzling chemical signatures that date back to the Earth's birth and early evolution.

Speaker Bio:

Stewart studies the origin and evolution of planets. She is a recipient of a MacArthur ‘genius prize’ for her work on planetary collisions and the discovery of synestias. At the University of California, Davis, Stewart directs the Shock Compression Laboratory, which uses enormous cannons to explore the physics of planetary impacts. Stewart was also a featured speaker on TED.com for her work on the origin of the moon.

SCHEDULE

4:45 - 5:00 PM ET Webinar waiting room opens

5:00 - 6:15 PM ET Talk + Q&A

 

Registration is required for this free event.

Further instructions and access to join the webinar will be sent to all registrants upon sign up.