Shock-Wave Exploration of the High-Pressure Phases of Carbon

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Science  19 Dec 2008:
Vol. 322, Issue 5909, pp. 1822-1825
DOI: 10.1126/science.1165278

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The high–energy density behavior of carbon, particularly in the vicinity of the melt boundary, is of broad scientific interest and of particular interest to those studying planetary astrophysics and inertial confinement fusion. Previous experimental data in the several hundred gigapascal pressure range, particularly near the melt boundary, have only been able to provide data with accuracy capable of qualitative comparison with theory. Here we present shock-wave experiments on carbon (using a magnetically driven flyer-plate technique with an order of magnitude improvement in accuracy) that enable quantitative comparison with theory. This work provides evidence for the existence of a diamond-bc8-liquid triple point on the melt boundary.

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