The international collaboration of scientists has discovered an event that could increase the depth of the planet Frequency of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions Worldwide. It is a phase change in minerals hundreds of kilometers away at our feet The shield under the earth.
This phase change is very different from what we see on a daily basis, for example, between the solid, liquid or gaseous state.
The new phenomenon reported occurs at the quantum level, that is, at the level of the elementary particles of matter. Electrons.
The minerals in the earth, like any other substance, are made up of atoms with a certain number of electrons. These elementary particles have properties such as mass, electric charge and vortex (electron’s own vortex comparable to rotational motion).
This last characteristic is the key to new discovery.
The team, led by Renata Wentzkovitch, a professor of materials science and engineering at Columbia University, said extreme pressure in the lower armor (depths of 660 to 2,900 km) could alter the rotation of electrons in minerals, thus affecting them. Changes in its crystal structure.
To find out what was going on, the scientists examined the movement of seismic waves and observed their velocity change as they passed through a field in the lower mantle. By analyzing this data, they discovered that it was due to fact FerropericlasaExcess mineral in this layer of the earth has undergone a change in its internal structure.
By rejecting several possibilities, the team identified that the only reason for these changes in the mineral was the phase change of its electrons: its rotation went from a ‘high’ to a ‘low’ state.
According to a study published this month Natural contactsThis phase change is expected to change various properties of ferroperclase such as density, viscosity, elasticity and thermal conductivity.
Clothing travels to the upper layers of the earth through a process called heating Convection, Which causes movement of tectonic plates. Therefore, researchers suggest that these variations in minerals affect the Earth’s surface.
“Geodynamic simulations show spiral change Increases the movement of convection and tectonic plates in the Earth’s mantle. That is why we think that this quantum phenomenon also increases the frequency of tectonic events such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, ”Ventkovich points out. That is a statement.
The planetary materials expert plans to study other parts of the lower mantle by seismic waves to find out what other phenomena are shaping the depths of the earth.
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