ucla epss geochem

Selected on-going projects

Isotopic clues to the evolution of the early solar system: Our goal is to use isotopes to understand the origins of the solar system. Most recently we have suggested that the complement of short-lived radionuclides in the solar system is inherited from molecular clouds like those formed today. Shown at right is a plot of relative abundances of radionuclides vs. their mean life against decay when winds from Wolf-Raylet stars are accounted for. The alignment suggests a consistent picture of their origin (Young, 2014, EPSL).

short-lived nuclides

Radio Astronomical Observations of Galactic Chemical Evolution: We are using the Green Bank radio telescope to measure the silicon isotopic composition of SiO across the Galaxy. The variations we find tell us about the nature of the chemical and isotopic evolution of the Galaxy with time. (Image from the NRAO).

GBT observatory

Non-traditional stable isotope fractionation at high temperatures and pressures - an experimental approach: In this NSF-funded research program, a collaboration with Prof. Craig Manning and Prof. Edwin Schauble, both of UCLA, we test theoretical predictions ofFe and Mg isotope fractionation among mineral phases experimentally. The figure at right shows early results on Fe isotope fractionation between magnetite and fayalite (Shahar et al., 2007).

Rare Isotopologues: We are developing new mass spectrometery methods for measuring rare isotopic species in gases like atmospheric oxygen and methane. For this purpose we have worked with Nu Instruments to develop the world's largest gas-source multiple-collector mass spectrometer (shown at right).
Panorama mass spec