Dissociation of MgSiO3 in the cores of gas giants and terrestrial exoplanets

Koichiro Umemoto, Renata M Wentzcovitch, Philip B. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

151 Scopus citations


CaIrO3-type MgSiO3 is the planet-forming silicate stable at pressures and temperatures beyond those of Earth's core-mantle boundary. First-principles quasiharmonic free-energy computations show that this mineral should dissociate into CsCl-type MgO + cotunnite-type SiO2 at pressures and temperatures expected to occur in the cores of the gas giants and in terrestrial exoplanets. At ∼10 megabars and ∼10,000 kelvin, cotunnite-type SiO2 should have thermally activated electron carriers and thus electrical conductivity close to metallic values. Electrons will give a large contribution to thermal conductivity, and electronic damping will suppress radiative heat transport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)983-986
Number of pages4
Issue number5763
StatePublished - Feb 17 2006


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