Unformatted text preview: Putting the pieces together From these observations and knowledge of the physical laws of nature, astronomers can construct and refine computer models of the planet interiors. The three parameters of pressure, density, and temperature determine the state of the material and a relation called the equation of state relates the three parameters to each other. It tells what the density is for a given pressure and temperature. For rock, the equation of state is complex and somewhat uncertain. Rocky materials of different compositions and phase or state of the material (solid, liquid, gas) all will have different equations of states. (In contrast, the equation of state for stellar interiors is fortunately much simpler---see the Stellar Structure chapter for a discussion of the equation of state in stars.) Planets exist in a balance between the compression of gravity and the pressure of the liquid and solid. Deeper layers experience more compression from the overlying material so the balancing solid....
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- Fall '10
- Astronomy, Planet, Fundamental physics concepts, 60%, Observables, 700 kilometers