An understanding of first-order pressure-induced structural transitions is relevant to many research areas in geological and planetary sciences because it involves the study of materials exposed to high pressures. For example, solid-solid transitions in silicates are responsible for the seismic discontinuities in the earth’s mantle (Chudinovskikh and Boehler 2001) and may play a role in plate tectonics and deep earthquakes (Kirby et al. 1991). In geological applications, models of structural transition kinetics simulate rock formation taking place over millions of years (Shekar and Rajan 2001). Despite their importance in earth science applications, the microscopic...

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