GEOL 1810: Physics of Planetary Evolution
The course will expose students to the fundamental physics necessary to understand how planetary bodies evolve. The evolution of planetary bodies will be discussed on the basis of geological and geophysical evidence derived from exploration of the Solar System. This course will study the physical processes responsible for and that occur as a consequence of differentiation and deformation of planetary bodies.
The course will cover fundamental and cutting-edge methods applied to Earth and planetary gravity data acquired by spacecraft, aircraft, sea, and surface gravimeters. Students will learn and practice how to represent, analyze, manipulate, and interpret gravitational data. The course will also include topics on potential field theory, geomagnetic data, pattern recognition methods, Monte Carlo methods, and computer modeling techniques. Topics covered in this course provide a foundation for a wide variety of advanced data analysis, representation, and manipulation techniques that extend beyond Earth and planetary sciences.
This graduate-level course surveys the current state of knowledge for geophysical processes and mechanisms related to the formation and evolution of terrestrial bodies within the inner Solar System. The course applies fundamental science concepts in physics and chemistry to examine key topics within planetary geophysics, including planet-wide magma oceans, planetary collisions and impacts, volcanism, tectonics, and magnetism. Course is formatted to allow for lecture content and presentation and discussion of relevant themes and concepts.