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Part III - Physics of the Earth as a Planet

Welcome to the website for the Part III Physics of the Earth as a Planet course. Please read below for a course description or use the links in the header above to navigate these pages.

Description and structure of the course

Physics of the Earth as a Planet attempts to provide an understanding of the Earth as a physical system. The course covers subjects as diverse as plate tectonics, continuum mechanics, seismic wave propagation, Earth structure, earthquake locations and mechanisms, isostasy, heat flow and viscous convection in the mantle. The course contains quite a lot of mathematical analysis, but nothing more complex than simple tensor manipulation and separable differential equations.

There are five integrated aspects of the course:

Lectures
Monday - Wednesday - Friday at 11 am in the Small Lecture Theatre, Cavendish Laboratory. The different topics will be dealt with by different lecturers, each with his own style of presentation.
Practicals
Three topics which appear in the seismology section of the syllabus (surface wave propagation, earthquake location and earthquake mechanism determination) will be the subject of specific two hour practical classes. No write-ups of these practicals are required, but the concepts and methods explained in these sessions are examinable. Up to three parallel sessions of practicals will be held, depending on the popularity of the course. The practicals will be held in the Bullard Laboratory Lecture Theatre.
Examples
Examples sheets will be give which will build on the lectures.
Supervisions
There will be four one-hour supervisions in groups of four to six. The object of these supervisions is to consolidate your understanding of the concepts behind each of the topics covered in the lectures, and to start linking these topics together.
Examples classes
There are two Examples classes during the term. These will give you an additional opportunity to dicuss the work on the examples sheets. The Examples classes will be held in the Bullard Laboratory Lecture Theatre.

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Created and maintained by Keith Priestley , last updated October 23, 2010.
Copyright © 2010 Keith Priestley