v16n5 From the Editors


Noble gases are uniquely stable and resistant to forming bonds. It is their stability and non-reactive nature which drives their practical uses. Our most common encounters with noble gases are probably with colorful helium-filled balloons or with the ever-present glow of cities from neon lights. As scientists, we have many other applications for noble gases, such as refrigerants for analytical equipment, inert atmospheres for storage of reaction-sensitive materials, ionizing gases in Geiger counters, and as gas- and excimer lasers.

Marissa Tremblay, Emily Cooperdock, and Peter Zeitler, guest editors of this issue of Elements, introduce us to another application of noble gases: thermochronology. In addition to editing the six thematic articles on the utility of noble gas thermochronology to fundamental geological questions (e.g., What are the rates of exhumation? How does a fault zone evolve?), these guest editors also wrote this issue’s Toolkit, which introduces the different methods used to extract, isolate, and measure the concentration of noble gases (and their isotopes) derived from natural materials. We hope you enjoy reading about this fascinating topic!


Elements regularly publishes short, 1- to 2-page, feature columns in addition to its thematic content and society news items. The different types of feature columns are summarized below. You are welcome to submit your ideas for future feature columns to Jodi Rosso (jrosso.elements@gmail.com) or to the individuals mentioned below.

Triple Point raises issues of broad interest. This feature has explored different aspects of our science (e.g., teaching, publishing, historical aspects), our societies, funding, science policy, and political issues that impact us. Contact Jodi Rosso (jrosso.elements@gmail.com).

People in the News highlights the accomplishments of members of our communities, awards they have received, or exciting new projects in which they are engaged. We rely on members to bring to our attention the relevant people. Contact Jodi Rosso (jrosso.elements@gmail.com).

Teaching Mineralogy, Geochemistry, and Petrology presents ideas and tools for effective teaching and the resources that are available to instructors. With recent demand for online instructional tools, such a column is more important than ever! Contact Jodi Rosso (jrosso.elements@gmail.com).

CosmoElements keeps us in touch with exciting discoveries in cosmochemistry by providing short articles, which can be used in the classroom, or reports on space missions that carry geochemical and mineralogical instruments. Contact Cari Corrigan (corriganc@si.edu).

Life in Science focuses on ways to make all stages of your career as a geoscientist (as student, professional, or retiree) easier and more satisfying. Contact Penny King (penny.king@anu.edu.au).

Mineralogy Matters highlights where mineralogy (broadly defined) is of fundamental importance to understanding an issue or a problem in topic areas that can range from Earth resources to the global environment. Contact Jodi Rosso (jrosso.elements@gmail.com).

Elements’ Toolkit presents new technological developments of interest to our readers. Articles focus on instrumental techniques, analytical and compositional methods, as well as on laboratory design. Contact Jodi Rosso (jrosso.elements@gmail.com).

Meeting Calendar is a list of workshops, short courses, and conferences that are of interest to the mineralogy–geochemistry–petrology community. Contact Andrea Koziol (akoziol1@udayton.edu) to add your meeting to the list.

Parting Shots, always placed at the end of the magazine, provides a lighter contrast to the serious stuff in the earlier pages. Intriguing, beautiful, or baffling photographs take the reader on a relaxing voyage into the web of connections that make the realm of Elements so enthralling. Contact Ian Parsons (ian.parsons@ed.ac.uk).

Elements is your magazine. Let us know what else you would like to read in it. We welcome your feedback concerning editorials or any other topic you think would be of interest to the mineralogy–geochemistry–petrology community.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.