12.002 Physics and Chemistry of the Terrestrial Planets

As taught in: Fall 2008

The interior of the Earth with layered structure details.

The interior of the Earth, showing the radially layered structure of metallic core and rocky mantle and crust. (Image courtesy of DOE.)




Prof. Benjamin Weiss

Prof. Leigh Royden

Course Features

Course Description

This course introduces the structure, composition, and physical processes governing the terrestrial planets, including their formation and basic orbital properties. Topics include plate tectonics, earthquakes, seismic waves, rheology, impact cratering, gravity and magnetic fields, heat flux, thermal structure, mantle convection, deep interiors, planetary magnetism, and core dynamics. Suitable for majors and non-majors seeking general background in geophysics and planetary structure.

*Some translations represent previous versions of courses.