JUL 12, 2017 07:31 AM PDT
The New Rock on the Block
2 6 572

Well, it's not exactly a new rock, but it's definitely pretty hot. It's a mineral deep inside the earth's mantle and most people may never have heard of it. It's called silicate perovskite and it's chemical formula is (Mg,Fe)SiO3.

Estimates are that its presence is a result of a meteorite that hit the ground in Australia in 1879. It's cube shaped and is a combination of two positively charged elements held together by one negatively charged element. How much of it is there? Some experts put the figure at about 38% of the earth's total volume. It can only exist however, in an environment of extremely high temperatures and pressure. That's why it's so deep under the earth's surface, somewhere between 420 and 1680 miles under our feet. Temps there can reach 5,000 degrees and the pressure is approximately 1.4 million times that of the atmosphere at sea level. Identifying a naturally occurring sample was difficult, but using a sophisticated instruments, it's now been found. It also has a name, bridgmanite. The name is in honor of physicist Percy Bridgman who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1946 for his work in high pressure physics and crystallography.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
MAY 08, 2018
Videos
MAY 08, 2018
Virtual Reality Theme Park Opens in China
China's first virtual reality theme park, called Oriental Science Fiction Valley, opened at the end of April 2018. It has a sci-fi focus and offers guests
MAY 16, 2018
Videos
MAY 16, 2018
Bioluminescence Lights Up San Diego Tide
Off the coast of San Diego, microscopic phytoplankton called dinoflagellates are putting on an amazing display of bioluminescence. Scientists at Scripps In
MAY 18, 2018
Videos
MAY 18, 2018
Seeing Inside of a Living Cell
The Allen Institute for Cell Science created a powerful tool for visualizing the human cell, called the Allen Integrated Cell. It will allow researchers to
MAY 26, 2018
Videos
MAY 26, 2018
The Defense Mechanisms of Blowfish
Blowfish are known for their incredible defense mechanism: they can puff out into a spiky ball when threatened, as shown in the video. Some also have a spi
MAY 30, 2018
Videos
MAY 30, 2018
Teaching Kids About The Brain
When you think about neuroscience education, middle school isn't typically what comes to mind. However, at the University of British Columbia, a new progra
JUN 12, 2018
Health & Medicine
JUN 12, 2018
How We Can Avoid Stigmatizing Mental Health
With two high-profile suicides in the news recently, mental health has come to the fore again, but this time there is an effort to realize that the stigma
Loading Comments...