Many traditional ideas concerning the chemistry, the temperature, the distribution of heat sources, and the density of the lower mantle and core have recently been challenged. Some of this research has a direct bearing on the mechanism by which the earth's magnetic field is generated.
An interdisciplinary conference was held in Melbourne, Florida, on March 7–9 , 1972, to discuss these ideas. Our objective as specialists from the fields of seismology, geochemistry, paleomagnetism, astronomy, solidstate geophysics, and dynamo theory was to discuss the compatability of some of our own favored hypotheses about the earth's lower mantle and core with alternative hypotheses from other disciplines. Questions considered by the conference included the following: