Frontiers of the physics of dense plasmas and planetary interiors: Experiments, theory, and applications

Fortney, J. J.; Glenzer, S. H.; Koenig, M.; Militzer, B.; Saumon, D.; Valencia, D.
April 2009
Physics of Plasmas;Apr2009, Vol. 16 Issue 4, p041003
Academic Journal
Recent developments of dynamic x-ray characterization experiments of dense matter are reviewed, with particular emphasis on conditions relevant to interiors of terrestrial and gas giant planets. These studies include characterization of compressed states of matter in light elements by x-ray scattering and imaging of shocked iron by radiography. Several applications of this work are examined. These include the structure of massive “super-Earth” terrestrial planets around other stars, the 40 known extrasolar gas giants with measured masses and radii, and Jupiter itself, which serves as the benchmark for giant planets.


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