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We are using high intensity pulsed lasers (~ 108-1012 W/cm2) to simulate high temperature and high pressure interactions with a variety of targets that are thought to simulate primordial solar nebula (PSN) materials.

The reactions of these PSN surrogates to infra-red, visible, and ultimately x-ray radiation will be carefully analyzed by SEM and visible microscopy, microprobe, mass spectrometry and other methodologies at Harvard University and Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.  These analyses are expected to identify critical geochemical pathways for planetary core formation.

The lasers and instrumentation at Sandia National Laboratories are required to establish the equations of state and momentum coupling coefficients that will allow planetary formation models to be constructed.

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