This project has three linked strands that will combine to constrain the birth environment of the solar system and the nebular processes that shape bulk planetary compositions. Firstly, I will use ultra-high precision isotope ratio measurements in bulk meteorites to determine the stellar origin of the pre-solar of material that controls the gross compositional differences between planetary bodies. Secondly I will identify the mineralogical hosts of this isotopic variability, using in situ laser ablation analyses with a unique collision-cell multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass-spectrometer, developed in close collaboration with an industrial partner (Thermo Fisher) as part of the project. Thirdly, I will establish a chronology for the mixing of the pre-solar material within the nebula, by dating individual meteorite components (chondrules) using ‘absolute’ Pb and relative 26Al-26Mg approaches and analysing the same aliquots for their mass-independent isotopic compositions. These observations will be quantitatively interpreted using novel numerical models of particle dynamics in the protoplanetary disk, in collaboration with Fred Cieala. This is an ambitious project that builds on the analytical prowess of the laboratory I have developed at Bristol and couples this with challenging technical developments and inter-disciplinary, modelling calculations. This work will radically improve our understanding of the history of the early solar system and the fundamental processes that shape its evolution.
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