Internal Structure of Giant and Icy Planets: Importance of Heavy Elements and Mixing

  • Ravit HelledEmail author
  • Tristan Guillot
Reference work entry


In this chapter we summarize current knowledge of the internal structure of giant planets. We concentrate on the importance of heavy elements and their role in determining the planetary composition and internal structure, in planet formation, and during the planetary long-term evolution. We briefly discuss how internal structure models are derived, present the possible structures of the outer planets in the Solar System, and summarize giant planet formation and evolution. Finally, we introduce giant exoplanets and discuss how they can be used to better understand giant planets as a class of planetary objects.



R. H. acknowledges support from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), project number 200021-169054. T.G. acknowledges support from CNES and from ANR JOVIAL.


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Computational SciencesUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Observatoire de la Cote dAzurNice Cedex 4France

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