Post-perovskite - Summary


Experimental and theoretical work on the perovskite/post-perovskite phase transition continues, while many important features of this phase transition remain ill-constrained. For example, the Clapeyron slope (characterized by the Clausius-Clapeyron relation) describing the increase in the pressure of the phase transition with increasing temperature is known to be relatively high in comparison to other solid-solid phase transitions in the Earth's mantle, however, the experimentally determined value varies from about 5 MPa/K to as high as 13 MPa/K. Ab initio calculations give a tighter range, between 7.5 MPa/K and 9.6 MPa/K, and are probably the most reliable estimates available today. The difference between experimental estimates arises primarily because different materials were used as pressure standards in LHDAC experiments. A well-characterized equation of state for the pressure standard, when combined with high energy synchrotron generated X-ray diffraction patterns of the pressure standard (which is mixed in with the experimental sample material), yields information on the pressure-temperature conditions of the experiment. However, as these extreme pressures and temperatures have not been sufficiently explored in experiments, the equations of state for many popular pressure standards are not yet well characterized and often yield different results. Another source of uncertainty in LHDAC experiments is the measurement of temperature from a sample's thermal radiation, which is required to obtain the pressure from the equation of state of the pressure standard. In laser-heated experiments at such high pressures (over 1 million atmospheres), the samples are necessarily small and numerous approximations (e.g., gray body) are required to obtain estimates of the temperature.

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