Jonathan M Aurnou

  • Professor at the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences
  • UCLA

Professor Aurnou runs the Simulated Planetary Interiors Laboratory (SPINLab) in UCLA’s Department of Earth, Planetary, & Space Sciences (EPSS), where they study large-scale fluid dynamics happening in and on planets. In addition to being a professor in the EPSS department, Professor Aurnou creates scientific outreach videos for YouTube (@spinlabucla) and manages DIYnamics, which provides affordable and accessible materials for geoscience teaching demonstrations. “Overall, it is a pretty good time.”


  • Earth’s Unpredictably Reversing Magnetic Field

    Earth’s planetary-scale magnetic field flips, or reverses, its orientation roughly every 250,000 years. However, the field has remained in its current orientation for the last 760,000 years.  In this talk, we will discuss the generation of the geomagnetic field within Earth’s molten metal core, the processes that underlie magnetic field reversals, and maybe do a […]

  • Why Does Earth’s Magnetic Field Point North?

    In this talk, I will describe the shape of Earth’s global magnetic field and some of its interesting behaviors. Then I will show why magnetic compasses work by presenting experiments carried out in my lab at UCLA that explain why Earth’s magnetic poles tend to align with the planet’s axis of rotation.