RSES researchers confirm Earth’s inner core is solid

Friday 19 October 2018

Associate Professor Hrvoje Tkalčić and PhD Scholar Than-Son Phạm are confident they now have direct proof the earth's inner core is solid. 

They came up with a way to detect shear waves, or "J waves" in the inner core - a type of wave which can only travel through solid objects. "We found the inner core is indeed solid, but we also found that it's softer than previously thought," Associate Professor Tkalčić said.

"It turns out - if our results are correct - the inner core shares some similar elastic properties with gold and platinum. The inner core is like a time capsule, if we understand it we'll understand how the planet was formed, and how it evolves."

Inner core shear waves are so tiny and feeble they can't be observed directly. In fact, detecting them has been considered the "Holy Grail" of global seismology since scientists first predicted the inner core was solid in the 1930s and 40

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Updated:  21 November 2018/Responsible Officer:  RSES Webmaster/Page Contact:  RSES Webmaster