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Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Squishing Rocks to Study Earth’s Interior

Monday, May 7, 2018 @ 7:00 PM-8:30 PM


St. Louis County Library – Natural Bridge Branch
7606 Natural Bridge Rd, St. Louis, MO 63121-4905
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FREE and OPEN to ALL. Junior Academy members, middle and high school students welcome and encouraged to attend. Space is limited. Registration required. Register below!

Featured Speaker: Philip Skemer, Ph.D., Associate Professor, and Director, Fossett Laboratory for Virtual Planetary Exploration, Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences; Associate Director, Institute of Materials Science & Engineering (IMSE); Principal Investigator, Rock Deformation Lab, Washington University in St. Louis

In everyday experience rocks may seem hard, brittle, inflexible; but deep in Earth’s interior, elevated temperature and pressure transform rigid rocks into soft, viscous blobs. These flowing rocks give rise to plate tectonics and ultimately most of the geology observed at Earth’s surface. However, direct observations of planetary interiors are essentially impossible. So how do we know what’s going on down there? Join geologist and geophysicist Philip Skemer for a look at how rocks can be deformed in the lab and how these experiments are providing new insight into the structure and evolution of Earth and other planets.

Rock Deformation Lab, Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, WUSTL

Rock Deformation Lab, Department of Earth & Planetary Sciences, WUSTL


Between a Rock and a Hard Place is a Science in St. Louis Series partnership of the The Academy of Science – St. Louis, St. Louis County Libraries, the Photosynthetic Research Antenna Center (PARC), and Washington University’s Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement (under a St. Louis project grant). Science in St. Louis is based upon work supported as part of the Photosynthetic Antenna Research Center (PARC), an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences under Award Number DE-SC0001035. We also would like to thank the National Science Foundation for support awarded to Kaitlyn Faries through the Graduate Research Fellowship Program under Award Number DGE-1143954.

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Monday, May 7, 2018
7:00 PM-8:30 PM
Event Category:


St. Louis County Library – Natural Bridge Branch
7606 Natural Bridge Road
St. Louis, MO 63121-4905 United States
+ Google Map