planetary science

Shock Compression Lab

In the fall of 2016, Professor Sarah Stewart’s group took possession of the department’s newest – and largest – experimental facility constructed adjacent to the former location of the Geology Department (the Physics/ Geology building). Stewart’s group uses a combination of experimental and computational approaches to explore feedbacks between material properties and physical processes during planetary formation and impact events.

Planetary Science

The program in Planetary Science focuses on the origin and evolution of planets with an emphasis on understanding the formation of Earth-like planets in our solar system and in extra-solar systems. The planetary group combines expertise in geochemical studies of extraterrestrial materials, measurements of the physical properties of planetary materials, experiments and modeling of major geophysical processes, and characterizing planetary environments to understand the origin of life on Earth and to search for life on other planets.