The study of structural phase transitions that occur as the result of the application of pressure is still in its long-drawn-out infancy. This is a direct result of the non-quenchability of structural phase transitions; their characterisation requires measurements of the material to be made in situ at high pressures. Although structural phase transitions could be detected by simple macroscopic compression measurements in piston-cylinder apparatus when the volume change arising from the transition was sufficiently large (e.g. calcite by Bridgman 1939, and spodumene by Vaidya et al. 1973) the limitations on sample access precluded their proper microscopic characterisation. The...

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