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Steven Jacobsen

Professor, Director of Graduate Admissions

Ph.D. Geophysics; University of Colorado
M.S. Geology; University of Colorado
B.A. Geology; University of Colorado


Jacobsen is a mineralogist who studies the high-pressure physics and chemistry of minerals, glasses and melts in various applications to Earth and planetary science, chemistry, and materials science. Mineral physics utilizes an atomic-scale understanding of composition, structure, and physical properties of materials to interpret global-scale geophysical processes, geochemical cycling, and to investigate potentially useful properties of minerals and new materials for societal applications. Jacobsen is especially interested in the role of water in minerals on the origin and distribution of water in the Earth. In chemistry and materials science, he uses extreme conditions of pressure and temperature to explore new phase space in the design and synthesis of functional materials including superhard materials, novel intermetallics, and materials for operation in extreme environments. Jacobsen currently serves on the Executive Committee of NSF-COMPRES, the Committee for Seismology and Geodynamics at the National Academy of Sciences, and is Associate Editor of Geophysical Research Letters.


EARTH 101: Earth Science for the 21st Century
EARTH 300: Earth and Planetary Materials
EARTH 438: Adv. Topics: Mineral Physics

Selected Publications

Childress, L.B. and S.D. Jacobsen (2017) High-pressure high-temperature Raman spectroscopy of kerogen: relevance to subducted organic carbon. American Mineralogist 102, 391-403.

Clark, A.N., C.E. Lesher, S.D. Jacobsen, and Y. Wang (2016) Anomalous density and elastic properties of basalt at high pressure: reevaluating the effect of melt fraction on seismic velocity in the Earth’s crust and upper mantle. Journal of Geophysical Research 121, doi: 10.1002/2016JB012973.

Liu, X., X. Chen, H.A. Ma, X. Jia, J. Wu, T. Yu, Y. Wang, J. Guo, S. Petitgirard, C.R. Bina, and S.D. Jacobsen (2016) Ultrahard stitching of nanotwinned diamond and cubic boron nitride in C2-BN composite. Scientific Reports 6, 30518.

Palot, M., S.D. Jacobsen, J.P. Townsend, F. Nestola, K. Marquardt, N. Miyajima, J.W. Harris, T. Stachel, C.A. McCammon, and D.G. Pearson (2016) Evidence for H2O-bearing fluids in the lower mantle from diamond inclusion. Lithos 265, 237-243.

Schmandt, B., S.D. Jacobsen, T.W. Becker, Z. Liu, and K.G. Dueker (2014) Dehydration melting at the top of the lower mantle. Science 344, 1265-1268.

Townsend, J.P., J. Tsuchiya, C.R. Bina, and S.D. Jacobsen (2016) Water partitioning between bridgmanite and postperovskite in the lowermost mantle. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 454, 20-27.

Walsh, J.P.S., S.M. Clarke, Y. Meng, S.D. Jacobsen, and D.E. Freedman (2016) Discovery of FeBi2. ACS Central Science 2, 867-871.

Complete List of Publications
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