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Preface

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

Harry Y. McSween, Jr
Affiliation:
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Gary R. Huss
Affiliation:
University of Hawaii, Manoa
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Summary

Cosmochemistry provides critical insights into the workings of our local star and its companions throughout the galaxy, the origin and timing of our solar system's birth, and the complex reactions inside planetesimals and planets (including our own) as they evolve. Much of the database of cosmochemistry comes from laboratory analyses of elements and isotopes in our modest collections of extraterrestrial samples. A growing part of the cosmochemistry database is gleaned from remote sensing and in situ measurements by spacecraft instruments, which provide chemical analyses and geologic context for other planets, their moons, asteroids, and comets. Because the samples analyzed by cosmochemists are typically so small and valuable, or must be analyzed on bodies many millions of miles distant, this discipline leads in the development of new analytical technologies for use in the laboratory or flown on spacecraft missions. These technologies then spread to geochemistry and other fields where precise analyses of small samples are important.

Despite its cutting-edge qualities and newsworthy discoveries, cosmochemistry is an orphan. It does not fall within the purview of chemistry, geology, astronomy, physics, or biology, but is rather an amalgam of these disciplines. Because it has no natural home or constituency, cosmochemistry is usually taught (if it is taught at all) directly from its scientific literature (admittedly difficult reading) or from specialized books on meteorites and related topics. In crafting this textbook, we attempt to remedy that shortcoming.

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Cosmochemistry , pp. xvii - xviii
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010

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  • Preface
  • Harry Y. McSween, Jr, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Gary R. Huss, University of Hawaii, Manoa
  • Book: Cosmochemistry
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511804502.001
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  • Preface
  • Harry Y. McSween, Jr, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Gary R. Huss, University of Hawaii, Manoa
  • Book: Cosmochemistry
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511804502.001
Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

  • Preface
  • Harry Y. McSween, Jr, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Gary R. Huss, University of Hawaii, Manoa
  • Book: Cosmochemistry
  • Online publication: 05 June 2012
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511804502.001
Available formats
×