Amritpal Singh Chaddha is a geochemist in India studying how rock varnish formation can unravel the mysteries of past climates.
Rock varnishes are the outer coating found on desert rocks that may act as a record of ancient environmental processes. My research combines analytical, electrochemical and genomic techniques to study the chemical composition of these varnishes and understand the mechanism by which they form. This gives us the exciting opportunity to study the history of the environments the rocks are found in, opening new insights into the natural systems that have shaped the global climate.
Rock varnish may have immense potential in science and industry, as it has a variety of applications, including as an additive in paint. My Impossible is to successfully mimic the formation of these materials synthetically, with the hope that in the future they can be used as an anti-corrosive and weather-resistant material.
My supervisor, a geologist, discovered these rock varnishes in India. It was his enthusiasm for the project that made me decide to focus on this research topic. He inspired me to think like a researcher. I am motivated to identify problems and find answers to these problems. My ultimate goal is to deliver a quality product that will benefit not only the science community but also the world at large.
Q: What kind of mindset do you need to achieve the Next Great Impossible?
A: Passion, purpose, and eagerness are major motivators for my research. I need to have a 'fear no failure' attitude and keep going to achieve this Impossible.