Taking extreme measures
“When I first learned about them, the tools and methods used in the Extreme Environments Lab sounded unreal,” said Jared Isobe, geophysics BS ’22, who worked in the lab as part of the Stanford Earth Summer Undergraduate Research (SESUR) program and as part of a 2021 Major Undergraduate Grant. “The methods the group uses are amazing to me because they give us glimpses into conditions we will never be able to see naturally with our own eyes.”
During the summer of 2021, Isobe assisted professor Rodney Ewing and PhD student Sovanndara Hok in exploring how materials like iron oxides respond to radiation exposure. The work was built off knowledge developed in the 2018 and 2019 SESUR program, when Isobe studied shocked silica and its relationship to meteorite impacts under the guidance of professor Wendy Mao and Sulgiye Park, PhD ‘17.
“Projects like this allow us to better understand basic processes that are happening below and above us,” he said. “I think it’s really fun because it takes me to places that I’ll never be able to go – like deep within the Earth.”
Isobe’s research experience led him to present at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, help operate a beamtime at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory remotely, and even help operate an experiment at the Matter in Extreme Conditions Beamline at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
“I chose geophysics because it joins together physics, math, and computer science with the goal of learning more about the Earth,” he said. “I highly suggest applying for the SESUR program – it’s been a great opportunity for me to continue to explore those intersections while also getting hands-on lab experience and mentorship.”