We're the EPIC lab (Experimental Petrology and Igneous processes Center). Contrary to popular belief (and mine until I took the class) petrology isn't the study of oil, it's the study of what rocks are made of and where in the earth they formed. It is the most badass of the geology disciplines. Allow me to show you why:
  1. 1 atm gas-mixing vertical furnace
    This is how we make rocks using a change in TEMPERATURE. The box on the left is the gas mixing apparatus. We use CO and CO2 to control the amount of oxygen (aka oxygen fugacity, aka fO2) that our experiment is exposed to. The center box is the temperature control. We can go up to 1700°C (3000°F), but the "1 atm" in the name means any experiments in this baby are done at ambient (room) pressure. The right hand box is the furnace itself, which our lab manager named "Stands With a Fist".
  2. Two Kennedy style end-loaded piston-cylinders
    These hydraulic presses allow us to take experiments up to 4 GPa (>580,000 psi, or about 150 km/93 mi deep into the earth) and 2000°C (3600°F). Yellow is named "Taylor", green is named "Hunter", after the sons of the previous owner. We use piston-cylinders to make rocks using a change in PRESSURE AND TEMPERATURE.
  3. One Boyd & England style Rockland Research 250 ton end loaded piston-cylinder
    Rosie is just a year old! The gray box houses her temperature and pressure controls. She can do everything Hunter and Taylor do, but better and with lighter parts. Example: I think Rosie's pressure vessel (aka bomb) weighs ~20 lbs, but the other piston-cylinders' bombs weigh more like 45 lbs. Rosie can also ramp/change pressure according to a preprogrammed schedule. Rosie is bae 😘
  4. 10 ton press
    We use this press to push experiments and their surrounding pressure media out of the bombs. We also use the press to make our pressure media (usually a simple chemical mixture) and make salt and pepper rocks during outreach events. We use the 10 ton press to demonstrate how rocks can be made with PRESSURE.
  5. Automatic mortar and pestle
    Doesn't do as good of a job as the ol' hand operated original version, but this can grind for hours at a time. Your arm cannot. We do the rough grinding for our starting mixes in this bad boy, then do the fine work by hand. What's a starting mix? That's the powdered oxide (pure elements plus oxygen) mixture we put in our capsules. The capsules go in the vertical furnace or piston-cylinder and out comes a new rock! What's a capsule look like?...
  6. Two capsules
    Both gold, one using the triple crimp, one the pillow method. Its amazing How much we learn from the little melted rock inside 🔬👀
  7. Questions?
    Post 'em in the comments!