The compressional sound wave velocity, v p , of synthetic MgO in the (100) direction and the unit-cell parameter have been measured up to a maximum pressure of 6.1 GPa using a new type of diamond-anvil cell. The main feature of the cell is the transverse access of the X-ray beam into the sample chamber. This allows us to undertake single crystal X-ray measurements while the ultrasonic attachment is mounted on the diamond-anvil cell. The sound velocity and the elastic parameter c 11 have been determined from these measurements; the variation with pressure can be described by delta c 11 /delta p = 9.35(13), in good agreement with previous studies.

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