Why rocks?

Before I get into telling you about my PhD research I thought I would answer this question, most recently posed to me by a French businessman; and it got me thinking…seriously, why rocks?

Following some thought, my answer was power and time.

When I think of the power of the Earth, the power required to build mountains, move continents, cause earthquakes, and melt rock and metal…my mind boggles. When I think of the time required to build (and erode) mountains, move continents from pole to Equator and evaporate entire seas…my mind boggles. And then there’s the fact that it is all just happening. No-one flicked a switch to start it or designed it (depending upon your religious point of view of course!); it simply occurs just because: surely inorganic nature at its best. Before life there were rocks and minerals: they are what the Earth and nature give us, what the universe decided to make with its elements. They are also our raw materials: everything we have made started as a chemical compound in a rock.

Rocks and minerals are also the oldest history lesson going; our only tool to glimpse into the vast expanse of the Earth’s existence. No matter what anyone else says, they are cool and geology does indeed rock! Throughout my blog I hope to prove this!


About Alex Quas-Cohen

I’m Alex, I’m 26 and I heart rocks and minerals! I am a PhD student at the University of Manchester. My supervisors are Dr Giles Droop, Dr Ray Burgess and Prof. Chris J Ballentine from the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences and Dr Simon Cuthbert from the School of Sciences at the University of the West of Scotland. To describe my interest succinctly, I would say that I am most curious about Earth system science – how does the planet work? What has happened over its lifetime? And why? The first thing I remember wanting to be ‘when I grow up’ was a detective and so I like to think of myself as rock detective. During the course of this blog I will tell you about the research I am carrying out for my PhD project and explain some of the analytical techniques that I use to do it.
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One Response to Why rocks?

  1. Pingback: Planetary Design: A Brief Introduction | Earth & Solar System

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