Hunting the Hadean Magnetic Field
|Starts:||13:00 23 Oct 2019|
|Ends:||14:00 23 Oct 2019|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences|
|Who is it for:||University staff, Adults, Alumni, Current University students, General public|
|Speaker:||Dr Rich Taylor|
Dr Rich Taylor, University of Cambridge, joins us for a Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences seminar. Abstract below.
The Earth’s magnetic field provides a shield from devastating solar radiation, and prevents our atmosphere from being stripped away. The geodynamo, the churning liquid metal outer core that generates our magnetic field, is therefore likely to have played an important role in creating the conditions necessary for the emergence of life around 4 billion years ago. However, we know little, if anything, about the existence of the geodynamo during this critical period.
Paleomagnetism is the study of Earth’s magnetic field through time. This collaboration to detect evidence of the earliest magnetic field has been described as the hardest paleomagnetic project ever conceived, and involves some of the most distinguished academic institutions in the world. For several years we have been looking at the oldest material on the planet, measuring some of the weakest magnetic signals ever attempted, on the most highly sensitive magnetometers ever created.
This monumental effort has aimed to resolve the fundamental, and sometimes seemingly simple, questions of this challenging project through magnetic measurements, isotope geochemistry, and micro-to-nano scale characterisation. How robust is the evidence for an ancient field? Are there any magnetic minerals from the early Earth? Do we even understand what we are measuring?
Dr Rich Taylor
Organisation: University of Cambridge
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