Kei Hirose is Professor of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Tokyo and was the founding Director of Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. He explores the Earth’s deep interior using high-pressure and -temperature (P-T) experiments. He and his team discovered 'post-perovskite', a main constituent in the lowermost mantle. The discovery opened new windows into this enigmatic and important region, enabling unprecedented constrains on temperature and heat flux bearing on mantle convection as well as Earth’s thermal and magnetic evolution.
Thereafter, Kei broke new records in achieving static high P-T conditions beyond the center of the Earth and revealed the stable crystal structure of iron that constitutes the inner core. His recent findings include the relatively young age of the inner core (<1 Ga) and the likely presence of a large amount of hydrogen in the core.
Kei has received a number of awards, including the Japan Academy Prize and the Science Innovation Award of the European Association of Geochemistry. Hiroseite is a perovskite-type FeSiO3 mineral named after him.
Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of Tokyo
Interest and expertise
Earth and environmental sciences
Earth’s deep interior, core, mantle, high pressure