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Part III Options: Mineralogy

MA: Magnetism of Earth and Planetary Materials

Richard Harrison

This course builds on the magnetism theory learnt in the Part II Core Mineralogy Course and applies it to the study of rock magnetism and paleomagnetism of terrestrial and extraterrestrial materials. The course provides an introduction to the new science of nanopaleomagnetism: using cutting-edge techniques from physics and materials science to tackle some of the most challenging problems in rock magnetism. How can we learn about the Earth’s magnetic field in the Hadean? What does magnetism tell us about the processes that shaped the early Solar System? These are some of the topics investigated in the lectures. Along the way you will get chance to make your own magnetic measurements during the practical sessions, get experience processing and interpreting data, and learn some of the computational methods that are giving us new insights into magnetism of mineral at the nanometre scale.

Theory paper: 90 minutes, two essay based questions from a choice of three

Assessed practical write up:  Marks split 70% to theory paper and 30% to practical paper


MB: Using Mineral Physics and Seismology to understand how the Deep Earth works

Simon Redfern and Sanne Cottaar

Mineral properties of the deep Earth – phase transitions, seismic properties and behaviour. Seismological and geophysical approaches to investigating the deep Earth. Computational and experimental methods for studying planetary materials at extreme pressures and temperatures. Mantle heterogeneity. Core formation and structure. Volatiles in the deep Earth. (8 Lectures and 6 practicals)

90 minute 'theory' paper


NM: M17/415 Nuclear Materials

Ian Farnan

(This course is taught jointly between Materials Sciences and Earth Sciences and we are still ironing out the final details).

Four basic MatSci lectures at very end of Michaelmas term, 12 Lectures in 2nd half of Lent term.

It covers the interaction of neutrons with matter (capture and scattering) and the effects of radiation on the physical and mechanical properties of materials. 

Examples are presented on nuclear metallurgy and radiation resistant steels as well as the interaction of radiation with natural analogues such as zircons and man-made nuclear wasteforms.

The final part of the course discusses the aqueous durability of man-made wasteforms and the challenge of their long-term storage and disposal in a geological repository. 

 Examining: 90 minute theory paper.


Mineralogy options Lent Term 2017

MINERAL A Magnetism of Earth and Planetary Materials Dr Richard Harrison Wks 1-4, M. W. 2-4
Exam code: MA Room: H2/Galson Lab
MINERAL B Deep Earth Mineral Physics and Seismology Prof. Simon Redfern and Dr Sanne Cottaar Wks 5-8, M. W. 2-4
Exam code: MB Room: H2/Galson Lab
M17/415 Nuclear Materials Dr Ian Farnan Wks 6-8, see below

Exam code:





M17 Course in Nuclear Materials

Wednesday 22/02/2017 09:00-10:00 M17
Thursday 23/02/2017 09:00-10:00 M17
Friday 24/02/2017 09:00-10:00 M17
Monday 27/02/2017 09:00-10:00 M17
Wednesday 01/03/2017 09:00-10:00 M17
Thursday 02/03/2017 09:00-10:00 M17
Friday 03/03/2017 09:00-10:00 M17
Monday 06/03/2017 09:00-10:00 M17
Wednesday 08/03/2017 09:00-10:00 M17
Thursday 09/03/2017 09:00-10:00 M17
Monday 13/03/2017 09:00-10:00 M17
Tuesday 14/03/2017 09:00-10:00 M17

For Part III nuclear materials the first four (optional) introductory lectures in Mich term will be at 15.00 on 3 November in Engineering, LR5. The other three are also in Engineering, LR5 on 16 November, 17 November and 24 November, all at 15.00.


Past Tripos papers