Summary: The melting curve of iron from quantum mechanics calculations
D. Alfe`a,b,*, G.D. Pricea
, M.J. Gillanb
Department of Earth Sciences, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
Department of Physics and Astronomy, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK
Received 20 May 2003; revised 20 November 2003; accepted 4 December 2003
The high-pressure melting curve of iron is of major importance to the Earth's sciences, as it provides a close estimate of the temperature of
the Earth's core. Despite being studied experimentally for more than a decade and, more recently, using theoretical quantum mechanics
techniques, there are still large discrepancies between different groups. In this article, we will describe our theoretical approach to the
problem and discuss the reason of the discrepancies with other theoretical calculations.
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The thermodynamic properties of iron, and in particular
its high-pressure melting curve, have been the subject of
intense investigation in the past few decades. The reason
for this substantial interest is that iron is most certainly the
main constituent of the Earth's core, therefore, by knowing