Research

Professors Bruce Fegley and Katharina Lodders, and technical staff, graduate students, and undergraduates form the Planetary Chemistry Laboratory in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

We model gas and condensation chemistry in the atmospheres of terrestrial planets and exoplanets, gas giant planets and their satellites, and cool stars. We apply principles of cosmochemistry and geochemistry to questions in (exo-)planetary sciences and meteorites. One major research theme are the solar system abundances of the chemical elements.

Our research activities can be divided into three areas:

  1. Theoretical models of chemical processes in circumstellar envelopes, the atmospheres of brown dwarfs and extrasolar planets, the early solar system, on planetary surfaces, and in planetary atmospheres. Many of these models involve calculations made with the CONDOR code, a thermochemical equilibrium program developed by Lodders.
  2. Experimental studies of important chemical reactions in the solar nebula, in planetary atmospheres, and between planetary atmospheres and surfaces.
  3. Involvement with spacecraft missions