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EPM Research

How do planets maintain magnetic fields, and how can they be used to understand planetary structure and past histories?

We use numerical simulationsexperiments and direct observations (e.g. from satellites, or from historical measurements) to characterise how magnetic fields are generated in planets through "self-excited dynamo" action in conducting fluids. An important example is how the geomagnetic field arises from convection of the liquid iron outer core of the Earth. We also use magnetic fields as tools to elucidate the structure of the crust, and the electrical conductivity of the mantle.


Where does magnetism arise in natural materials, and how can we use magnetic properties to gain insights into natural systems?

We are pursuing an experimental approach to identify and characterise magnetic phases in natural materials. This information is used in mineral magnetic, environmental (e.g., soil and lacustrine), and biomagnetism (e.g., brain tissue) studies. We are also developing techniques based on rock magnetism to study deformation. Many of our experiments are carried out at the Laboratory for Natural Magnetism.

Maximum Entropy reconstruction of the radial part of Earth's magnetic field at the core surface in 1980  
Maximum Entropy reconstruction of the radial part of Earth's magnetic field at the core surface in 1980

EPM News

08.11.2016

Nature paper: Earth’s magnetic field under the ‘simulation magnifying glass’

EPM members ran state-of-the-art geodynamo simulations to get insight on a phenomenon of magnetic field reversals. Read more 

18.10.2016

Visit to Black Forest Observatory

Our group has had a wonderful trip to the Black Forest Observatory located in a 250 years old silver and Bauxite mine.   Read more 

10.10.2016

Science Advances paper: Magnetic oceans and electric Earth

EPM researchers used satellite-detected tidal magnetic signals to image subsurface structure. Read more 

29.04.2016

Earth, Planets and Space journal 2015 award came to Christoph Püthe

Along with ETH Silver Medal, Christoph Püthe and Alexey Kuvshinov were given EPS 2015 award for the paper "Determination of the 3-D distribution of electrical conductivity in Earth’s mantle from Swarm satellite data: Frequency domain approach based on inversion of induced coefficients". Congratulations!   Read more 

29.03.2016

Christoph Püthe has been awarded the Silver Medal of ETH for the quality of his PhD thesis

This award recognises the quality of the dissertation, and we would like to congratulate Christoph on this award. Read more 

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