“Geology isn’t a real science!”

Dr. Sheldon Cooper, physicist, from “The Big Bang Theory”, and his strange relationship with geology! (still image from “The Big Bang Theory”)
Dr. Sheldon Cooper, physicist, from “The Big Bang Theory”, and his strange relationship with geology! (Still image from “The Big Bang Theory”)

Some of you probably know “The Big Bang Theory” sitcom and if not I strongly suggest it. One of the characters in this funny American sitcom is a physicist and he firmly believes that geology cannot be considered as a real science. This is a pretty strong statement and it makes us think …..So let’s borrow this exclamation “Geology isn’t a real science!” and reflect about what geology is.

You probably know the stereotype of a geologist: shorts with a thousand pockets, a hammer, a compass and a magnifying glass. But what is this sort of David Attenborough looking for? Continue reading

Fête de la Science wrap up

Abyss ITN hosted a Fête de la Science event at IPGP on the ocean crust on October 9, 2015. All of us here at SeaRocks want to thank those who attended our event! We hope you all enjoyed it! The event kicked off with the arrival of students from three schools: Lycée Henri Bergson (Paris 19e), Lycée Flora Tristan (Noisy-le-Grand), and Lycée Suger (Saint-Denis). The students then rotated through three different workshops related to the scientific topics investigated within the ABYSS network. Continue reading

From the mountain to the lab

Sometimes as a geologist you get to travel and work in some pretty extreme locations. So how did I end up in a caravan halfway up a mountain over 300 km north of the Arctic Circle in Northern Norway, in a place only accessible by helicopter? Well, the most interesting rocks can often be in the hardest places to reach!

Arriving at the drill site, October 2014

My research is on a magma chamber formed deep down in the Earth’s crust 560 million years ago. As the magma crystallized, crystals settled and formed a series of layers that recorded the evolution within that magma chamber. Understanding these processes is central to my current research project. It just so happens that this fossil magma chamber is somewhere quite hard to reach. Continue reading

What is on the inside?

A lemon tree
A lemon tree

When you see a beautiful lemon tree, you might start thinking about holiday. You’ll want to take a lemon from it, slice it up and add it to a nice meal or drink. But have you ever taken a good look at the inside of a lemon? Before you slice it, you do not know where the seeds are, or how thick the skin is. Imagine that you could look inside without slicing! What would it look like?

This might seem a strange question. Why would anybody like to know that? You can slice it up whenever you want! However, in some cases it can be important to look inside something without slicing. Think about a hospital scan to examine your bones. How convenient that they can look at them without an operation! In geology, we have a similar view. Sometimes, we want or need to look at the inside of a rock without disturbing its inner texture by cutting it. So how can we do this? Continue reading