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The Earth’s core may be less solid than thought

The Earth’s core may be less solid than thought

© Getty Images / iStock Photo / Peter Hermes Furian / iStock Photo

It begins about 2,900 kilometers below us, under the Earth’s mantle Earth’s corethe Solid hot ball In the center of our planet, which, among other things, generates the Earth’s magnetic field. are responsible for that Iron atomswhich were previously thought to be arranged in a very rigid structure due to the prevailing high pressure.

➤ Read more: Seismic waves appear: Something is happening in the Earth’s core

“Like butter”

“But seismologists discovered that the inner core (from a depth of 5,100 km) Surprisingly soft around Like butter“We found that solid iron in soil becomes surprisingly soft because… Atoms can move much more, than we ever imagined. This increased movement makes the Earth’s inner core less solid and weaker Lateral forces“.

Chang is part of one Chinese-American research teamsthe Experiments combined with artificial intelligence calculations To conduct a new study on the properties of the Earth’s core, which is now published in the specialized journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Has been published. The University of Texas at Austin and Sichuan University have recreated the pressure conditions in the Earth’s core by Iron plates were bombarded with particularly fast projectiles.

Changes places under high pressure

And they have the effects of this bombing It has been transferred to computer form. And with AI, it’s one thing A hypothetical “supercell” consisting of about 30,000 atoms looks like. It was observed how the iron atoms constantly change their places within a solid hexagonal structure and take the position of neighboring atoms, which are also in motion. People talk about “Collective movementAccording to the researchers, this could explain the seismic measurement results.

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“We now know the basic mechanism. This will help us.” Dynamic processes And the Evolution of the Earth’s inner core Gong-Fu Lin of the University of Texas is convinced of this.