- Prof. Smyth's research is focussed on the experimental mineral physics of the effects of hydration in the Earth's interior. Syntheses of hydrous Earth materials are conducted in collaboration with the Bavarian Institute of Experimental Geophysics at the University of Bayreuth in Germany. Materials are characterized by X-ray diffraction in the Crystallography and Mineral Physics Laboratory at the University of Colorado. Thermal expansion and compressibilities are measured in the laboratory in Boulder and at the Advanced Photon Source (APS) at Argonne National Laboratory. Elastic properties are measured by Brillouin spectroscopy in collaboration with researchers at the University of Hawaii, and Princeton University. We are seeking to understand the role of water in the dynamics of planetary interiors and the origin of water, and hence life, on Earth.