The interior of the Earth is one of the great, unexplored frontiers. With temperatures ranging from near absolute zero to several thousand degrees, and pressures from a fraction to millions of atmospheres, the materials that make-up the Earth range in properties as vastly different as graphite and diamond. The evolution of the Earth is a vast process lasting billions of years, involving huge amounts of matter (crystalline and molten silicates, metals, and volatile constituents).

The study of Mineral Physics is central to gaining an understanding of the whole Earth as a system, and is at the heart of several different sub-disciplines within the Earth and Planetary Sciences. The Mineral Physics Institute (MPI) is a research institute of Stony Brook University dedicated to understanding the present state of the Earth from its surface to its core, as well as its evolution through time. Our approach is to study Earth materials under the pressures and temperatures found within the interior. With small quantities of sample and experiments lasting hours, we try to simulate and understand the processes that control the Earth system.

Located on Long Island, only minutes away from Brookhaven National Laboratories, we have developed and use the synchrotron x-ray source to probe the behavior of these materials at high pressure and temperature. The facilities and expertise that we have developed have been made available to the broader scientific community through our relationship with COMPRES, the COnsortium for Materials Properties Research in the Earth Sciences.

The MPI was founded in 1989. It served as the launching pad for CHiPR, the Center for High Pressure Research, a National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center. COMPRES grew out of the CHiPR experience as a community based advocate and supporter of the high pressure research programs at national laboratories.

There are many different areas of interest being pursued by people involved with the Mineral Physics Institute at Stony Brook University. For more information about the research programs being conducted by MPI members and the facilities available to us for conducting our research, feel free to use the links at the left.