The theoretical construction of the “Rigid Unit Mode” model arose from asking a few simple questions about displacive phase transitions in silicates (Dove 1997a,b). The simplest of these was why displacive phase transitions are so common? Another was why Landau theory should seemingly be so successful in describing these phase transitions? As the construction developed, it became clear that the model is able to describe a wide range of properties of silicates, in spite of the gross over-simplifications that appear so early in the development of the approach. In this review, we will outline the basic...

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