Q:

What is the state of matter of the Earth's inner core?

A:

Quick Answer

The state of matter of Earth's inner core is solid. This highly compact sphere is due to the extreme pressures generated within the inner core.

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Full Answer

The layers of Earth are classified based on chemical constitution and physical behavior of the rocks that comprise the planet. Based on physical behavior, the various layers of Earth include the lithosphere, asthenosphere, upper mesosphere, lower mesosphere, outer core and inner core. The outer core exhibits a molten, or liquid, physical behavior.

The inner core, discovered by Inge Lehmann in 1930, is a rigid metallic ball that is primarily composed of an iron-nickel alloy. The lithostatic pressure that increases with depth also increases the melting point of the alloy. The surrounding temperature is inadequate to liquefy the metal, hence, the inner core maintains its solidity.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How hot is the inner core of the Earth?

    A:

    According to National Geographic, the inner core of the Earth ranges between 9,000 and 13,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This is approximately as high as the temperature of the sun's surface.

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  • Q:

    What is the temperature of Earth's inner core?

    A:

    The temperature of Earth's inner core is estimated to be between 9,000 to 13,000 degrees Fahrenheit, as stated by National Geographic. The planet's innermost region is primarily made up of a solid iron composition due to extreme levels of pressure.

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  • Q:

    How did we discover the Earth's inner core?

    A:

    Dr. Inge Lehmann discovered the makeup of the Earth's inner core by studying how an earthquake's waves bounced off the core. It was previously thought that the core was made of liquid, surrounded by solid mantle and a crust. Lehmann found that the Earth's center is made of a solid inner core surrounded by a liquid outer core.

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  • Q:

    What is the temperature of the Earth's inner core?

    A:

    There is no way for the inner core of the Earth's temperature to be physically measured; however, according to mathematical equations based on what is known about the core, it is estimated that the core is approximately 9,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Approximations of the Earth's internal temperature have changed through the decades as technology has improved and the current estimation is nearly 1,000 F higher than before.

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