An interstellar molecular cloud transformed into our Solar System through condensation of mineral grains, accretion and growth of planetesimals and planets in a short period of a few million years. Understanding the nature of these events is impossible without their precise sequencing.
The aim of this project is to determine the timing and duration of the key events of accretion and planetary growth with precision and accuracy hitherto unattainable. The student will The student will analyse some of the best preserved meteorites and their components (minerals, chondrules, refractory inclusions) for U-Pb, 26Al-26Mg, 53Mn-53Cr and 182Hf-182W using high-precision and high-resolution analytical techniques: thermal ionisation and plasma ionisation mass spectrometry and SHRIMP ion microprobes.
The project involves extensive laboratory development work in order to maximize precision, accuracy and sensitivity of isotopic methods.