We live in interesting times. It used to be that mantle phase transitions were so few in number that even a child could become an expert—but my childhood is long past. Now even seismologists invoke obscure phase transitions to elicit favorable publishing decisions whenever an unexpected wiggle arises in a seismogram, and even mineral physicists routinely discuss seismic anisotropy. (Note to self: good reason not to drop optical mineralogy from a syllabus.) This surprising broadening of knowledge arose from the singular alliance of large-scale facilities provided by synchrotron light sources, supercomputers, and seismological data facilities like IRIS. Kei Hirose, John...

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