DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 45. Outer Planets/Gas Giants I
Oral, Chair: R. A. West, Saturday, September 6, 2003, 10:30am-12:00noon, DeAnza I-II

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[45.01] The Equation of State of Hydrogen at Mbar Pressures and the Interior of Jupiter

D. Saumon (LANL), T. Guillot (Obs. de la Cote d'Azur)

Deuterium is currently the focus of a high level of experimental and theoretical activity that was sparked by a disagreement on the experimental value of maximum compression in dynamic experiments. The equation of state (EOS) of hydrogen and its isotopes at Mbar pressures is simply not well understood and a significant uncertainty remains in the 0.5 - 3 Mbar range along the Hugoniot.

It is of great interest to planetary science to understand how the current uncertainty on the hydrogen/deuterium EOS affects the inferred structures of Jupiter and Saturn. In particular, the mass of a core of heavy elements (other than H and He) and the total amount and distribution of heavy elements in these two planets are very sensitive to the EOS of hydrogen and constitute important clues to their formation process. We present a study of the range of structures allowed for Jupiter by the current uncertainty in the hydrogen EOS. We show that dramatic improvements on our knowledge of the giant planets may be obtained from a combination of new high pressure experiments, the Cassini mission to Saturn, and proposed space missions to Jupiter.

This work was supported in part by NASA Planetary Geology & Geophysics grant NAG5-8906 and by the United States Department of Energy under contract W-7405-ENG-36.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.