Article

Physics and Chemistry of Minerals

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 61-65

On the thermal expansion of β-cristobalite

  • I. P. SwainsonAffiliated withDepartment of Earth Sciences, University of CambridgeNeutron and Condensed Matter Science, Chalk River Laboratories, AECL Research
  • , M. T. DoveAffiliated withDepartment of Earth Sciences, University of CambridgeNeutron and Condensed Matter Science, Chalk River Laboratories, AECL Research

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Abstract

We have measured the temperature dependence of the cell parameter of cubic β-cristobalite up to 1300° C by high-precision X-ray powder diffraction. The thermal expansion coefficient decreases on heating, until above 1000° C the cell parameter is virtually constant in value. We discuss this change in the thermal expansion with reference to the behaviour of low-frequency rigid unit modes and fluctuations associated with the α-β phase transition.