Burkhard Militzer

Title
Professor of Earth and Planetary Science
Department
Dept of Earth and Planetary Science
Phone
(510) 643-7414
Research Expertise and Interest
Saturn, structure and evolution of Jupiter, and extrasolar giant planets
Research Description

B. Militzer studies the interiors of giant planets with computer simulations in order to understand their structure and evolution. Since materials in planetary interiors are exposed to extreme temperature and pressure conditions that cannot yet be reached with laboratory experiments. B. Militzer instead relies on highly accurate simulations from first principles. He and collaborators recently predicted the existence of a massive core in Jupiter of 14 Earth masses.

In the News

January 17, 2019

Saturn hasn’t always had rings

One of the last acts of NASA’s Cassini spacecraft before its death plunge into Saturn’s hydrogen and helium atmosphere was to coast between the planet and its rings and let them tug it around, essentially acting as a gravity probe.
November 21, 2018

What magnetic fields can tell us about life on other planets

Every school kid knows that Earth has a magnetic field – it’s what makes compasses align north-south and lets us navigate the oceans. It also protects the atmosphere, and thus life, from the sun’s powerful wind. But what about other Earth-like planets in the galaxy? Do they also have magnetic fields to protect emerging life? A new analysis say they do have a magnetic field, but one generated in a totally novel way.
March 22, 2010

Helium rain on Jupiter explains lack of neon in atmosphere

When the Galileo probe descended through Jupiter's atmosphere in 1995, it found neon to be one-tenth as abundant as predicted. This unexpected finding has led two UC Berkeley researchers to propose that this is due to a rain of helium that depletes Jupiter's layers of neon as well as helium.