Science & Tech: Silicon identified as ‘missing element’ in Earth’s core

KPSC KAS IAS Coaching State Updates National

  • Silicon likely makes up a significant proportion of the Earth’s core after iron and nickel, say scientists who claim to have identified the ‘missing element’ in the deep interiors of our planet that has eluded us for decades.
  • The discovery could help us to better understand how our world formed, researchers said.
  • For the study, researchers from Tohoku University in Japan recreated the high temperatures and pressures found in the deep interior of the Earth.
  • The Earth consists of four general sections, the outermost being the crust (that’s where we live). Below that is the mantle, which makes up the bulk of Earth’s volume.
  • The core is around 2,200 miles in diameter, but it is usually separated into the outer and inner core. It’s the inner core is 760 miles in diameter, and it is this region that is of particular interest to scientists.
  • While it’s incredibly hot at more than 5,400 degrees Celsius, the pressure from all the layers pushing down on it make it a solid ball.
  • The outer core is a highly viscous fluid. We know the inner core is mostly composed of nickel and iron in a 10-85% split. It’s that missing 5% that is the topic of research in the study from Tohoku University.
  • Since we cannot examine the core of the Earth directly, the best way to study it is to monitor how seismic waves pass through this region. In order to assess different elements as components of the core, the Tohoku University team basically created a scale model of it in the laboratory.
  • They used samples of nickel and iron and mixed in silicon.
  • The resulting alloy was subjected to high temperature and pressure like it would experience in the inner core. The behavior of this alloy was a good match for the seismic data acquired from observing the Earth’s core.
  • It is mainly composed of iron, which makes up about 85 per cent of its weight and nickel, which accounts for about 10 per cent of the core.
  • To study the unaccounted five per cent of the core, researchers created alloys of iron and nickel and mixed them with silicon, ‘BBC News’ reported. They then subjected them to the immense pressures and temperatures that exist in the inner core.
  • They discovered that this mixture matched what was seen in the Earth’s interior with seismic data.
Related Posts
Four new farm pests found in Karnataka
Four new plant-eating insects that may turn out to be a potential threat to agriculture in several states have been found in Karnataka. These pests, reported for the first time in ...
READ MORE
India’s rotavirus vaccine launched
What  Country’s first, indigenous rotavirus vaccine launched The Rotavirus vaccine was developed indigenously, under a public-private partnership between the Ministry of Science Technology and the Health Ministry. Why to combat diarrhoeal deaths. How As given in ...
READ MORE
The Channapatna handcraft can be traced to the reign of Tipu Sultan who invited artisans from Persia to train local artisans in the making of the wooden toys. The traditional wooden ...
READ MORE
The National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) is leading the National Mental Health Survey (NMHS) with support from the Union Health Ministry A team of nearly 60 experts from ...
READ MORE
Proposed Karnataka sports policy
The Karnataka Knowledge Commission (KKC) has submitted a Sports Policy to the state government covering a wide gamut of aspects including sports for all and a long-term road map for the ...
READ MORE
Karnataka Current Affairs – KAS / KPSC Exams – 18th April 2017
Biometric attendance to weed out bogus billing Civic officials are all set to introduce the biometric system of attendance for pourakarmikas to weed out suspect bogus billing by contractors. The National Informatics ...
READ MORE
Karnataka State will not denotify fruits & vegetables
The state government has decided to adhere to its stand and not denotify fruits and vegetables from the Karnataka Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (Regulation and Development) Act, despite the Centre ...
READ MORE
Urban Development – Housing Schemes
Deposit Contribution Works Karnataka Housing Board has undertaken deposit contribution works as per entrustment by the Government. Up to October 2015 the details of works taken and progress is as follows - 475 building projects ...
READ MORE
National Family Health Survey: Karnataka Related Data
Drop in married women using modern family planning methods Karnataka has recorded a decline in use of modern family planning methods by married women, with just over 50 per cent of ...
READ MORE
Karnataka Current Affairs – KAS / KPSC Exams 2017 – 13th April 2017
Karnataka State Health Department issues H1N1 advisory The State Health Department on 12th April issued an advisory asking people not to ignore symptoms of H1N1 and to see a doctor immediately ...
READ MORE
Four new farm pests found in Karnataka
India’s rotavirus vaccine launched
Channapatna craft losing sheen
Mental health survey by NIMHANS
Proposed Karnataka sports policy
Karnataka Current Affairs – KAS / KPSC Exams
Karnataka State will not denotify fruits & vegetables
Urban Development – Housing Schemes
National Family Health Survey: Karnataka Related Data
Karnataka Current Affairs – KAS / KPSC Exams