The creation of amorphous silicate materials, glasses, is useful for a wide range of applications ranging from industrial purposes to basic science.

Photograph of a glass sphere (~1 mm diameter) with the composition of the mineral forsterite (Mg2SiO4). Without the extremely fast cooling achieved with aerodynamic levitation, this type of glass is extremely difficult to create in the lab.

Using the aerodynamic levitation laser furnace, we can create novel glasses in the lab that mimic the composition of geological materials such as rocks and minerals.

We are developing and improving methods to synthesize novel glasses that can be used as starting materials for other experiments (diamond anvil cell or piston-cylinder), and to learn about the chemical and physical properties of amorphous silicates at high temperature (up to 3500 °C) and a wide range of oxygen fugacity relevant to planetary geology and cosmochemistry.

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