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Dr Nachiketa Rai

Postdoctoral researcher

Reseach interests

My current research interests are focused on understanding the processes of accretion, differentiation and thermo-chemical evolution of terrestrial planetary bodies. I combine meteoritics, igneous petrology, analytical geochemistry (trace elements and isotopes), thermodynamics, phase equilibria, physical property measurements of metallic and silicate melts, and element partitioning experiments at high temperature and high pressure to constrain the origin and evolution of the Earth, the Moon, Mars, Mercury and Ureilite meteorite parent body.

I am working with Professor Hilary Downes on a study of urelite meteorites; the research is funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

Selected publications

  • Articles (published)

    1. Steenstra E, Kinbbe, J, Rai N and van Westrenen, W. (2016) Core formation in Vesta: constraints from metal-silicate partitioning of siderophile elements. Geochim Cosmochim AC, 177, 48-61.

    2. Steenstra E, Rai N and van Westrenen, W. (2016) New geochemical models of core formation in the Moon from metal–silicate partitioning of 15 siderophile elements (Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 441, 1-9)

    3. Rai N and van Westrenen, W. (2014) Constraints on the formation of a lunar core from the metal‐silicate partitioning of siderophile elements. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 388, 343-352.

    4. Rai N and van Westrenen, W (2013) Quantifying the effect of solid phase composition and structure on solid-liquid partitioning of siderophile and chalcophile elements in the iron-sulfur system. Chemical Geology, 357, 85-94.

    5. Rai N and van Westrenen, W (2013) Core-mantle differentiation in Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, DOI: 10.1002/jgre.20093

    6. Sanloup C, Drewitt J, Dalladay-Simpson P, Morton D, Rai N, van Westrenen W, Konopkova Z & Morgenroth W (2013) Structural Change in Molten Basalt at Deep Mantle P-T Conditions. Nature, 503, No. 7474, 07.11.2013, p. 104-107.

    7. van Westrenen W, Rai N, Perrillat J-P, Sanloup C, Petitgirard S, Mezouar M, van Kan Parker M (2013) Experimental determination of the high-pressure, high-temperature density and viscosity of silicate melts. Invited review chapter in ‘Measurements at Extreme Conditions’ (ed. Y. Morizet).

    8. van Kan Parker M, Sanloup C, Sator N, Guilot B, Tronche EJ, Perrillat J‐P, Mezouar M, Rai N, van Westrenen W (2012) Neutral buoyancy of titanium‐rich melts in the deep lunar interior. Nature Geoscience doi:10.1038/ngeo1402.

    9. van Kan Parker M, Sanloup C, Tronche EJ, Perrillat J‐P, Mezouar M, Rai N, van Westrenen W (2010) Calibration of a diamond capsule cell assembly for in situ determination of liquid properties in the Paris‐Edinburgh press. High Pressure Research 30, 332‐341.

    10. Rai N, Dwivedi M.M., Pandey K. and Gupta A.K. (2004) Synthesis of Diamond from Graphite using a Multi Anvil Apparatus. Deep continental studies in India, 14 (2), 10‐12.

    Popular science
    van Kan Parker M, Sanloup C, Sator N, Guillot B, Tronche EJ, Perrillat J-P, Mezouar M, Rai N, van Westrenen W (2013) Dense molten rocks in the interior of the Moon. ESRF 2012 Highlights, 37-38.

Nachiketa Rai

Contact details

email: n.rai@ucl.ac.uk