This is a new effort in which we are working towards the development of laser-based ramp loading platforms to quasi-isentropically compress materials to extreme conditions at nsec timescales. The results have the potential to answer fundamental questions about our solar system and beyond. Some of the key questions we hope to address include:
1. What is the nature of the iron core at the center of Earth and other terrestrial planets?
2. What is the interior structure of Jupiter and the other giant planets?
3. How did Jupiter and the giant planets form and what are the implications for the origin and evolution of the solar system?
4. What other kinds of planets exist outside our solar system and what are they made of?
This work is in collaboration with R. Collins, R. Smith, and J. Eggert at LLNL.