About the Geophysical Laboratory

The Geophysical Laboratory was established in 1905 to investigate the processes that control the composition and structure of the Earth as it was known at the time, including developing the underlying physics and chemistry and creating the experimental tools required for the task. Over a century later, this core mission has expanded to include the physics, chemistry, and biology of the Earth over the entire range of conditions our planet has experienced since its formation, as well as parallel studies of other planets of this and other solar systems from their surfaces to their cores.

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The Geophysical Laboratory and DTM went head-to-head on October 27, 2017 for the annual interdepartmental soccer match.  The GL pistons threatened early with Gus Borstad and Alex Poltorak connecting on several give-and-gos to advance the ball up the field. Andrew Steele and Abhisek Basu pressured the DTM defense but could not make it past DTM Mud Cup veterans, Adelio Contreras, TJ Rodigas and goalkeeper Conel Alexander.


On October 13, 2017, Geophysical Laboratory Staff Scientist and Deep Carbon Observatory Executive Director Robert Hazen was awarded Honorary Membership in the Russian Mineralogical Society (RMS) for his “outstanding contributions to crystal chemistry of minerals under extreme conditions and theor


The Geophysical Laboratory’s Alex Goncharov and Terrestrial Magnetism’s Peter van Keken were awarded a Venture Grant to apply a novel flash-heating method for high- pressure/high-temperature experiments to measure the thermal conductivity of Mars. They will then develop new models to understand why that planet cooled so fast and early.


The Geophysical Laboratory celebrated National Postdoc Appreciation Week (NPAW) September 18-22, 2017.  Together with our sister department, DTM, the Carnegie Science Broad Branch Road campus treated our postdocs to a week-long ping pong tournament, organized by postdocs Amol Karandikar and Venkat Bhadram, an ice cream social, and a Paint Nite afternoon to come together with their peers and paint a scene from their time here in DC. 

Matter at Extreme States

Washington, DC— A team of Geophysical Laboratory high-pressure physicists have created a form of carbon that’s hard as diamond, but amorphous, meaning it lacks the large-scale structural repetition of a diamond’s crystalline structure. Their findings are reported in Nature Communications.

Upcoming Events

Nov 20, 2017
11:00 AM

The Geophysical Laboratory's weekly seminar series continues with Luke Shulenburger of Sandia National Laboratory. He will present, “Pushing the boundaries of computational electronic structure by studying matter under extreme conditions?"

Event Host: Ronald Cohen
Nov 27, 2017
11:00 AM

The Geophysical Laboratory's weekly seminar series continues with Catherine McCammon of University Bayreuth. She will present, "Seeking carbon in the deep Earth."

Event Host: Bjorn Mysen