Central to the goals of mineral physics is an elucidation of how material behavior governs planetary processes. Planetary accretion, differentiation into crust, mantle, and core, ongoing processing by magmatism, dynamics and thermal evolution, and the generation of magnetic fields, are all processes controlled by the physical properties and phase equilibria of planetary materials. Knowledge of these processes has advanced in large measure by progress in the study of material behavior at extreme conditions of pressure and temperature.

Thinking of a planet as an experimental sample emphasizes the relationship between planetary processes and material behavior via properties that control its response...

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