Olga Pravdivtseva's research focus has been in the formation and evolution of the early solar system. She is involved in high-precision noble gas mass-spectrometric study of extraterrestrial materials and uses noble gas isotopes as tracers of nuclear processes occurred in the nascent solar system.
Pravdivtseva is most heavily involved in I-Xe dating of early solar system events recorded and preserved by various meteoritic components. The I-Xe chronometer is based upon the decay of now-extinct 129I, produced in r-process nucleosynthesis in supernovae, and is capable of providing high precision closure ages, often within 10,000 years, of minerals that formed 4,600,000,000 years ago. High temporal resolution of I-Xe chronometer allows deciphering details of aqueous alteration and thermal metamorphism in various meteoritic components and mineral phases, estimating the cooling rates of iron meteorites, and as a result, reconstructing the evolution of the meteorites parent bodies.