Our research program focuses on understanding the large-scale physical and chemical behavior of the Earth and other planets through experimental study of geological materials under extreme conditions of pressure and temperature. More generally, we use the laser-heated diamond anvil cell together with optical spectroscopy and x-ray techniques to explore crystal structures, phase relations, elasticity, and deformation behavior in a wide range of materials at ultra-high pressure and temperature conditions.
Ramping Up The Pressure
Stewardship Science, The SSGF Magazine, 2011-2012, pp. 8-11
By Thomas R. O'Donnell
"We want to understand how the high pressures and temperatures in these planets affect the crystal structure - the arrangement of atoms and whether they are solid or liquid," says Thomas Duffy, a professor in the Princeton University Department of Geosciences. Researchers also want to know how those conditions affect "a host of physical properties: how dense these materials are, whether they are insulators or metals" and others.