PLANET FORMATION AND EVOLUTION

Collisions are a pervasive physical process that links the history of all planetary bodies, from giant planets to the smallest asteroids. Using an understanding the physical and chemical outcome of collisions, we investigate many problems in Earth and Planetary Sciences.

Our current work focuses on understanding how collisions modify the physical state and chemical composition of growing planets. Geochemical data provide constraints and discriminating information about different dynamical models for planet formation. Different dynamical models produce distinct collision histories for planets and small bodies, which are reflected in their final chemical properties. Generally, we seek to understand the coupling and feedbacks between material properties and the physical processes that occur during planet formation.

We are currently investigating

  • How did the Moon form?
  • How does the geochemical data in Earth’s mantle constrain the process of accretion?
  • When and how did Venus, Earth and Mars diverge in their evolution?
  • How does the chemistry of a planet evolve during accretion?
  • How have large and small craters affected the composition and thermal histories of Mars and Pluto?
  • What range of physical and chemical properties are expected for exoplanets?
PAPERS ON THIS TOPIC