Discuss the cooling of the Earth in terms of simplified models such as (a) a uniform sphere of constant heat capacity and diffusion coefficient, initially at a uniform temperature, (b) adding radiogenic heat production in the crust, by constraining the surface temperature to be the sum of two terms, one entirely due to the heat flow from the interior, and the other term exponentially decaying, such that the drop in 4.5 x 109 years becomes 900 K.
Use present surface heat flow and temperature (average values) as boundary conditions, and discuss the long-range development of the thermal conditions in the interior of the Earth (cf. e.g. Goguel, 1976). Recent models suggest a core temperature of nearly 4000 K (Hofmeister, 1999).
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