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Ultra-High-Pressure Experimentalist Who Studies the Deep Earth
This article profiles the work of Elise Knittle, whose research specialty is mineral physics. The essay gives an overview of the core, mantle, and crust of the Earth, including what we know about their physical properties. It explains the work of the author, studying the chemical interactions between the metals that make up the Earth's core and the silicate minerals that compose the mantle. The obstacles and challenges she faces in re-creating the intense heat and pressure of the deep Earth using incredibly small samples are explained. Most of the recent work of the author is on subduction zones, trying to determine what happens to the slabs of oceanic crust that descend into the mantle.
Intended for grade levels:
  • High (9-12)
  • College (13-14)
Type of resource:
  • Text:
    • Ref. material
  • Chemistry
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geology
    • Geophysics
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
This is an excerpt from Earth: Inside and Out, edited by Edmond A. Mathez, a publication of the New Press. Copyright 2000 American Museum of Natural History.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-005-794
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 9-12:
      • B - Physical science:
        • Chemical reactions
        • Interactions of energy and matter
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Energy in the earth system
        • Origin and evolution of the earth system
      • G - History and nature of science:
        • Science as a human endeavor
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: American Museum of Natural History