Erik J. Davies
Principal Advisor: Sarah T. Stewart
Department of Earth and Planetary Science
University of California, Davis
I work primarily in equation of state development for geologic materials with a focus on applications to terrestrial planet formation. More specifically I look at the results of a variety of impacts between bodies during the planet formation process. Some of these impacts are massive and occur between similarly sized bodies, typically called giant impacts. Other impacts involve small bodies impacting relatively larger bodies. Whatever the size, velocity, angle, etc. of the impact, material and thermodynamic properties strongly affect the outcome. Whether or not the bodies melt, vaporize, shatter is dependent upon the equation of state of the constituent materials.
I use dynamic compression experiments to probe compressed states on the Hugoniot, the locus of possible compressed states of a shockwave. Variations in experiment design and shock driver pulse shape allow me to access off Hugoniot states such as the liquid-vapor phase boundary or decompression release adiabats. The equations of state developed with these techniques are implemented into hydrocode simulations so I can gain an intuition of the outcomes of impacts.