A workshop is being organized to summarize progress and opportunities in mineral and rock physics, and the scientific community is being asked for input. The workshop itself will be limited to 20 invited participants but will generate a report identifying recent major accomplishments in the field, major opportunities and challenges for research in the next decade, and facility instrumentation, human resources, and education needs. Comments from all mineral and rock physicists and Earth scientists in general are welcome.
The rapidly evolving field has emerged over the last 20 years as an exciting interdisciplinary area of Earth science. Sometimes also called physics and chemistry of Earth materials, this general area encompasses the application of the molecular-level concepts and experimental and theoretical techniques of chemistry and physics to materials and problems relevant to geology. Its unifying viewpoint is the question, “Why and how, at the level of atoms and their interactions, do geologic processes occur?” Though mineral physics arose largely through interest about and application to the Earth's mantle and core, its fundamental approach is much broader and has relevance to the Earth from surface to core, to current environmental problems as well as to planetary evolution, and to other planetary bodies.