Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Skip to content Skip to navigation

Geological Sciences Seminar: Jonathan Stebbins, Stanford University-Geological Sciences

Date and Time: 
October 15, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm


GeoCorner 220 - 450 Serra Mall, Building 320
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 
Event Sponsor: 
Department of Geological Science

** Please join us for coffee and cookies in the GeoCorner Undergraduate lounge (bldg. 320, rm 114) before the talk, at 11:30am! - Seminar will be in room 220~

Silicate Glasses and Liquids: from the Deep Earth to Advanced Technologies

High temperature silicate liquids are central to a wide range of processes in the Earth and other ‘rocky’ planets, from planetary-scale differentiation, heat and mass transport in the crust and mantle to the formation of many types of ore deposits and the creation of the natural hazards of catastrophic volcanic eruptions. At the same time, silicate liquids are the precursors of most types of glass used in technologies from the mundane (beer bottles and window glass) to the advanced (computer and phone screens, fiber optics). The molecular-scale structure of melts and glasses controls their physical properties, and thus is key to predicting their behavior in both Nature and in materials engineering.  In this talk, I will briefly introduce some of the most basic concepts of melt and glass structure. I will then discuss recent work that ties our early discoveries of ‘non-conventional’ structural details together with new results connecting structure-property relationships in the simplest  of silicates to those of other oxides systems long thought to behave completely differently.

Professor Jonathan Stebbins completed his undergrad work at Harvard and my Ph.D. at U.C. Berkeley (both in Geology) on thermodynamic measurements of molten and glassy silicates needed for predictive models of the properties of magmas. By good luck, he became involved with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy during a post-doc at Berkeley, in the early days of applying this powerful technique to the structure and dynamics of glassy, liquid, and crystalline inorganic materials. He brought this research program to Stanford, joining the faculty in 1985, and NMR has been a major tool in our research program ever since.