Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Earth Science

Scientists Have Finally Sampled the Most Abundant Material On Earth 128

rossgneumann writes: The most abundant material on Earth didn't have a name, and, in fact, hadn't been seen — until now. For the first time ever, scientists have gotten their hands on a sample of bridgmanite, a mineral that is believed to make up more than a third of the volume of the Earth. In a new paper published in Science late last week, Oliver Tschauner of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and his team describe bridgmanite for the first time.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Scientists Have Finally Sampled the Most Abundant Material On Earth

Comments Filter:
  • (Mg,Fe)SiO3 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Noah Haders ( 3621429 ) on Monday December 01, 2014 @08:35PM (#48502711)

    some info [mindat.org] not in the summary or article:

    Formula: (Mg,Fe)SiO3
    System: Orthorhombic
    Name:
    Named in 2014 by Chi Ma and Oliver Tschauner in honor of Percy Williams Bridgman [April 21, 1882 Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA - August 20, 1961 Randolph, New Hampshire, USA], winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1946 for his work in high-pressure physics.

    • Re:(Mg,Fe)SiO3 (Score:5, Interesting)

      by PPH ( 736903 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2014 @01:19AM (#48504211)

      Interesting.

      But the summary is slightly misleding. The stuff they found came from a shocked meteorite. And it fits the theoretical models of the makeup of the lower mantle. But it sounds like we still haven't gotten a significant sample from inside the earth to validate the theory.

      • Re:(Mg,Fe)SiO3 (Score:4, Informative)

        by shri ( 17709 ) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {cmarirhs}> on Tuesday December 02, 2014 @03:22AM (#48504607) Homepage

        Not just "sounds like"... they've got nothing other than speculation which confirms earlier speculation.

        Tschauner’s description of bridgmanite gives us no such insights about the inside of the Earth, other than to confirm what scientists believed to have been true for quite some time: The mineral exists, and it can occur naturally under highly pressurized conditions.

      • This always gets me. We've been to space and sent stuff outside of the solar system, but we haven't even dug a significantly deep hole in our own planet.
        • Space travel is hard, and so is digging a very deep hole. Hard things to do must all be equally hard, therefore it's weird that we haven't dug a hole to sample this stuff. 100% bomb proof logic you've got there.

          • I'm not talking about digging a hole a thousand miles down, but we haven't even gone 10 miles. There's talk of mining asteroids when we haven't punched through the top 1% of the surface of our own planet.
        • The two challenges are very different. In one, you have the problems of low temperatures and ambient pressures of up to atmosphere or several (unless you specifically want to pump something up, such as a fuel tank ; but typically, they're kept cold to keep the pressures low) ; on the other hand, you're dealing with temperatures up in the red to orange heat (which softens all materials, but softens some more then others) and confining pressures in the megabars.

          We do have the materials for the former ; we do

      • But it sounds like we still haven't gotten a significant sample from inside the earth to validate the theory.

        Nor is it going to happen. You'll need to get to a depth of around 650km below surface, and get your sample THEN quench it through a temperature range of around 500+Kelvin to prevent it from decomposing into other materials as it's passing through the pressure-temperature regimes between it's natural environment and the surface.

        Remember : this is mineralogy : the composition of a material is not the

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The original article in Science [sciencemag.org] has considerably more detail too, although it's behind a paywall.

  • Summary is wrong (Score:5, Informative)

    by ShieldW0lf ( 601553 ) on Monday December 01, 2014 @08:40PM (#48502733) Journal

    Technically, it's not "on Earth", it's "in Earth".

    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      well the sample they tested was never inside earth.
      it's on earth now though it was in space before..

    • Technically, it's not "on Earth", it's "in Earth".

      I prefer "of Earth"

  • I'm guessing that this is not settled science (whatever that is) and that at most they have a model to justify their model.

  • The most abundant material on Earth didn't have a name

    How about "Gamer Tears"

    • Well, at least that's actually material.

      I think the most abundant thing would have to be idiocy. But it's not really a material substance, so you can't quite put your hands on it... no matter how much you might want to.
  • ... is untroll when you surf at (Score:2) band above.

  • The Bayonne Bridgemen [bridgemen.com] Drum and Bugle Corps must be thrilled!!!

  • ... nougat.

  • abundant - existing or available in large quantities; plentiful.
    sample - a small part or quantity intended to show what the whole is like.

    How can something plentiful be completely inaccessible?
    Yes, they correctly sampled a meteorite, they did NOT sample from the earth.

    Sorry, but just because it exists in an asteroid, doesn't mean it is abundant on, or in earth.
    Jason Koebler should have a lot more critical thinking in an article as important as this purported discovery.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      How can something plentiful be completely inaccessible?

      Well, it could for example be something blocking access to it.

      No-one is arguing that the sun doesn't have plenty of mass. I still consider it highly inaccessible and don't think that we will be able to get a core sample anytime soon.

      • I was thinking along the lines of: females are plentiful, but for a lot of slashdotters they're completely inaccessible.
    • by offerk ( 764276 )

      > abundant - existing or available in large quantities; plentiful.

      ...

      > How can something plentiful be completely inaccessible?

      The key word is "or". I.e. you can condense the above definition to read (for this case): "Abundant: existing in large quantities". Doesn't have to be accessible.

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      How can something plentiful be completely inaccessible?

      Women. To Slashdotters.

  • I believe the most abundant material on earth is not infact what they claim at all. I believe the most abundant material is actually these.
    http://virulentwordofmouse.fil... [wordpress.com]

  • by M0j0_j0j0 ( 1250800 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2014 @09:53AM (#48505749)

    The obvious and accpted name should be, Alotofite

  • Everyone knows the most abundunt material is phlogiston!

Lo! Men have become the tool of their tools. -- Henry David Thoreau

Working...