Rachel Zucker

Undergraduate Researcher

Office: N/A
Phone number: N/A
Fax: 617-324-4014

Research Focus

I am interested in the deformation mechanisms present in Earth materials. My project with the Buehler group is to model shock deformation in alpha-quartz using the Reax force field to investigate the origins of experimentally observed shock features. We expect that ReaxFF can model shock-induced phase changes, and we hope to see evidence of the mechanisms that lead to defect nucleation. Results of this work could have great value to geologists and engineers alike, as calibrating which features are present as a function of shock velocity could make quartz an accurate shock pressure gauge. Also, understanding the mechanisms that lead to permanent deformation in quartz under shock could lead to toughening mechanisms, resulting in crack-resistant concrete mixes, as well as a deeper understanding of earthquake mechanics.


2005 - 2009: Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering; Bachelor of Science in Geoscience


  • Ralph L. Evans (1948) Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program Funding (2008)




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