Shock wave data are essential for all studies related to collisional processes, including planetary accretion and impact crater formation. Impact experiments provide fundamental data on the physical properties of planetary materials and ground truth for numerical simulations of large-scale impact events and collisions in the solar system.

The primary research objectives in the Shock Compression Laboratory at Harvard are:
  • To conduct laboratory-based exploration of the solar system by performing impact experiments on planetary materials under the pressures and temperatures of natural collision events.
  • To measure the dynamic response and equations of state of the rocks, minerals, and mixtures found on planetary surfaces and within small bodies in the solar system.

Research Opportunites

Karin Louzada Left: Karin Louzada by the target tank

  • Undergraduates, graduates, and postdocs: Individuals interested in planetary topics should contact Sarah Stewart for more information.
  • Collaborative research: Researchers with ideas for shockwave experiments should contact Sarah to discuss the capabilities and availability of the lab.

Technical Information

Description of the laboratory (PDF)